Memphis Tigers vs. SMU Mustangs Betting Preview
Where: Moody Coliseum — Dallas, TX
When: Saturday, March 4, 2017, 8:00 PM ET
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Betting on the Memphis Tigers (18-11, 8-8 AAC)
The Tigers looked pedestrian in the early to middle parts of their game against the lowly Tulane Green Wave Thursday night, as they head to the break trailing, 39-34. Considering they entered as losers of four straight, it could’ve been another embarrassing loss, so thank god they put the pedal to the metal soon after.
Memphis outscored Tulane in the second half by 27 points to finish the game with a commanding 92-70 victory. Dedric Lawson, as always, led the way, scoring 29 points on 11-for-15 shooting.
As the heart and soul of the team, Lawson has been filling the stat sheets all season long – 19.3 points, 10.2 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 1.3 steals, and 2.2 blocks per contest. The sophomore will once again have a tall task this coming weekend, and he and his team should know that slow starts won’t take them anywhere against SMU’s tough defense.
In their previous encounter with the Mustangs, where they lost in a low-scoring, 58-54 affair, Lawson only went 4-for-12 for a quiet 12 points. He did, however, slightly made up for it by swatting five shots – it was his season-high against any ranked team this season. Jeremiah Martin (10.6 PPG), the team’s number four scorer, led the Tigers in points that day, with 16.
Through 16 conference games, Memphis is averaging 67.3 points on 42.2 percent shooting (both sixth in the AAC), and they are only 4-6 on the road this season (5-5 ATS).
Betting on the SMU Mustangs (25-4, 15-1 AAC)
As expected prior to the game, SMU mopped the floor with Tulsa. Their 24th-ranked defense was on full-display in the 93-70 rout, as they held the Golden Hurricane to under 36 percent shooting. On offense, all starters were able to reach double-digit points, highlighted by Semi Ojeleye going a perfect 9-for-9 from the field for a game-high 26 points. With the victory, the Mustangs stretched their winning streak to 12 (10-0-2 ATS).
Although they only shot 37.7 percent in their first meeting with Memphis, a couple of good performances from SMU still arose, with Ojeleye posting a 17-point, 11-rebound double-double and Sterling Brown providing an all-around play of 14 points, eight rebounds, and six assists.
Now that the matchup is in front of their home crowd at Moody Center, Ojeleye (18.2 PPG) and Brown should be able to record similar or even better stat lines. Expect Shake Milton and Ben Moore to join in – Milton is scoring 16.1 points, 4.0 rebounds and 4.4 assists in his last 10, while Moore is averaging a double-double (11.4 PPG, 10.4 RPG) in his last seven.
The Mustangs are the number one scoring offense and defense in the AAC (average wining margin is 15), and they also allow the fewest rebounds and lowest shooting percentage (38.5) in the conference.
SMU (-14.5) takes it, 81-69.
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