2023 March Madness odds are out at sportsbooks for the first round of NCAA Tournament, with an exciting 8-9 matchup in the East Region between American Athletic Conference tournament champion Memphis (26-8) and Conference USA regular season and tournament champ FAU (31-3). The best available college basketball spread has Memphis as a favorite and on the moneyline to win the game. With the game having an over/under of , this game looks likely to be a barn burner – especially after Memphis blitzed through the AAC tournament. Let’s dive more into Memphis March Madness odds, along with key matchups and stats.
After beating 1-seed Houston to capture the conference tournament title, the game against Florida Atlantic is scheduled to tip at 9:20 p.m. EDT on Friday, March 17th on TNT.
Memphis vs. FAU Odds
The odds table above is a crucial part of getting the most out of March Madness betting – be it getting an extra half point on a point spread, paying less for a moneyline favorite or getting the most out of a moneyline underdog, or getting the best side of a total. This makes getting the best odds and best prices available clear and easy, and it’s crucial for getting the most out of valuable betting opportunities.
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Memphis vs. Florida Atlantic Player Props
Player Props can be an undervalued market in college basketball – there isn’t the same interest in it, which sometimes leads to softer, easier to exploit markets. Getting the right number is essential, which is why our props tool allows you to easily compare odds and prices across books, to make sure you’re getting the best possible deal. Betting on college basketball player props is only available in CT, DC, IA, IL, IN LA, MD, NJ, OH, WA, WV, and WY; however, CT IA, IL, and NJ do not allow you to bet player props for players on in-state teams.
This table will populate once sportsbooks open player props for this game. You can also use our Prop Finder Tool.
Memphis March Madness Futures
Reasons Memphis Can Cover
It’s hard to argue any team in the country is hotter than Memphis right now after rolling through the AAC tournament. Yes, it’s hard to argue that they’ll shoot 51% from the field and 50% on 3FG again, as they did in beating Houston, but the quality of competition here is lower.
Memphis is underrated in the seeding – as an 8 seed, they should be around the 30th-best team in the nation. Per KenPom, they’re 19th. This is a team that has the ability to score, even if they don’t boast a reliably elite offense, and they’re top 35 on both sides of the ball. Their defense could be key, with the Tigers having just held Houston to 32% from the field.
Reasons Florida Atlantic Can Cover
The first and best case for FAU is merely recency bias. While it’s undeniably impressive to beat a No. 1 seed on Selection Sunday, it’s also the case that casual college basketball watchers and general sports bettors who only bet the sport in March will see an 8-seed that just beat Houston and assume they’re going to dominate.
Florida Atlantic is also undervalued in the selection committee’s eyes compared to their true talent – their 9-seed implies they’re somewhere between team 33 and 36, but by KenPom they’re 26th in the nation. They’re not in the Top 30 in either adjusted offensive or defensive efficiency, which means they’re not spectacular, but also not glaringly bad in either category either.
The biggest hope for FAU is forcing Memphis to play at their pace – they’re 126th in Tempo, adjusted for opposition, compared to Memphis’ 17th. If FAU can force the Tigers into less possessions, then they’ll be able to stop Memphis from having the raw opportunities to score that enable them to score 46 in a half against elite defense like they did against Houston.
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The total () is too high, especially if FAU manages to control pace and tempo in this game. Even with the 51% from the field performance against Houston, Memphis’ offense only scored 75 points, and 5 of their last 6 games have gone under this number. On the other side, four straight FAU games have gone under 153.
In terms of the spread, it’s a fair line to have – Memphis shade a little bit better than FAU, but the differences are not as massive as public perception will suggest. Memphis will be a trendy pick, having just beaten Houston and having a well known name to casuals as their coach in Penny Hardaway, but they’re not clear cut better.
Should they be favored? Yes – they’re better by KenPom and have shown an ability to win in key spots. But they’re not locks, and those writing them in for a run after their Sunday success may be setting themselves up for disaster.
Best of luck betting Memphis March Madness odds.