Tuesday College Basketball Best Bets: Memphis Letdown At Cincinnati?

Written By Eli Hershkovich on February 15, 2022 - Last Updated on February 16, 2022
College Basketball Best Bets

Tuesday’s college hoops schedule features 11 ranked teams in action, but there’s a critical unranked matchup in the AAC. Let’s break down my college basketball best bets for Memphis at Cincinnati, as both programs are fighting for their NCAA tournament lives.

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You can even continue the discussion in our Discord betting community, as we dissect all of the games throughout the day. Stay up-to-date on the top-68 programs with my college basketball power rankings.

Memphis Tigers at Cincinnati Bearcats

The Tigers are coming off five consecutive wins, including a road win at No. 14 Houston. Couple that with the fact that Penny Hardaway’s team closed as a 7.5-point home favorite in the first meeting against the Bearcats, which it won 87-80, and it’s overvalued in the rematch.

Wes Miller’s unit has struggled against zone defenses throughout the campaign, including Tulsa on Saturday. But Cincinnati should be in for a different result against Memphis’ pressure defense despite it surrendering 0.92 points per possession (PPP) during its winning streak.

For one, the Bearcats are tallying the second-lowest turnover rate in AAC play. Keep in mind, transition offense is a major reason why the Tigers have turned their season around.

Plus, Hardaway’s defense lets up the conference’s fifth-highest open 3-point rate (via ShotQuality) while Cincinnati manufactures the AAC’s highest 3-point scoring rate in spite of its inconsistent shooting in that department (32.1%). The perimeter looks should be there for the taking, especially if David DeJulius & Co. create transition opportunities of their own.

Even though Miller’s team possesses its fair share of offensive flaws, its half-court defense is a difficult matchup for Memphis. Not only does Cincinnati defend cuts at an uber-efficient level, but it also boasts the AAC’s No. 1 defensive rebounding rate.

Considering the Bearcats’ size can go toe-to-toe with the Tigers’ bigs, they should limit their second-chance shots and accrue fast-break possessions in the process.

Expect a Memphis letdown in a revenge spot for the underdog — with its NCAA tournament odds on the line.

  • Update: Cincinnati center Abdul Ado (undisclosed) was ruled out less than an hour before tip-off.

Eli’s College Basketball Best Bets: Cincinnati +3 (-110)
Best Available Line: Cincinnati

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Eli Hershkovich

Eli Hershkovich is a lead sports betting writer with TheLines and Catena Media, formerly with Audacy and The Action Network. His goal is to provide you with data and information to lead you to winning bets. Eli is an avid college basketball gambler — among many other sports — and still hasn't forgiven Virginia for ruining his 2018-2019 Texas Tech futures.

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