SMU vs. Memphis Predictions, Odds

  • January 26, 2021
  • By Thom Cunningham

The SMU Mustangs hit the road for an AAC game against the red hot Memphis Tigers. Tip for this potential bubble game is set for 7 p.m. (ET) and will air on ESPNU from the FedEx Forum.



SMU-Memphis Betting Odds

Line Movements

  • Spread: Memphis -2
  • Money-Line: Memphis -145 SMU +125
  • Total: 141.5

Odds Subject to Change

Memphis is the home favorite for this potential March Madness bubble game, entering as a -2-point favorite. The Tigers have covered and won SU in two straight games, but have failed to cover nine of their last 13 games overall. SMU is 5-4-1 on the ATS.

The point total is set at 141.5, which can go either way. Memphis has failed to go OVER in 11 of 13 games this season, while SMU has gone OVER in seven of 10 games.

Betting Analysis – SMU Mustangs

Straight Up - SU, Against the Spread - ATS, Over-Under (O/U)

  • SU: 8-2
  • ATS: 5-4-1
  • SU - Home: 5-2
  • SU - Away: 3-0
  • O/U: 7-3

Southern Methodist is on a two-game winning streak, after dropping back-to-back games to Houston and Cincinnati. The Cincinnati loss was a bad one, but the Mustangs seem to be playing well since then.

SMU has an efficient team overall, posting the nation's 53rd-most efficient offense (79.1 points per game) and 61st-most efficient defense (66.9 points allowed per game). They feature four players who average a double-digit point total, beginning with Kendric Davis.

Davis averages nearly 20 points per game, along with 7.8 assists. Feron Hunt adds 12.2 points per game and a team high 8.6 rebounds per game, while Ethan Chargois averages about 10 and six (along with 3.2 assists per game).

The team has offensive playmakers all around, including lots of experience with the top five scorers all being upperclassmen. SMU pulls down the 68th-most rebounds per game (38.7), the 43rd-most defensive rebounds per game (28.3) and the 16th-most blocks per game (5.2).

They also hit the 78th-best three-point percentage (36%), the 85th-best two-point percentage (53%) and the 58th-best field goal percentage in the country (47%). They also average 17 assists per game which ranks 29th nationally. The question becomes, does any of this matter against the stout Memphis defense?

Time will only tell, but SMU feels like a formidable opponent to take on the Tigers. Whether that's Tuesday night is up for debate, but of all the AAC offenses it does seem justified to believe SMU can compete against the Tigers' defense - statistically speaking.

Betting Analysis – Memphis Tigers

Straight Up - SU, Against the Spread - ATS, Over-Under (O/U)

  • SU: 8-5
  • ATS: 4-9
  • SU - Home: 5-3
  • SU - Away: 3-2
  • O/U: 2-10-1

Memphis has looked like the best team in the AAC over its last two games. The Tigers beat a good Wichita State team by 20 points, only to go on the road and beat a 7-3 ECU Pirates team 80-53.

What makes Memphis so dangerous is the defense, allowing 61.8 points per game along with the fifth-most efficient defense in the nation (84.4). The team has allowed fewer than 59 points a game over its last five games, as the offense is finally turning a corner.

If you're late to the party and wondering why Memphis is just 8-5, its because of the offense. Prior to the two-game winning streak, Memphis failed to touch 60 points in three straight games. Two of those games were losses to Tulsa.

With Tulsa put in the rear-view mirror, Memphis is now averaging 77 points over its last two games. This is a small sample size of what Memphis is capable of when their defense is leading to offense. They're clicking on all cylinders right now, but it seems inevitable that the success won't last.

Landers Nolley needs to step up from an offensive stand point, the best point-scorer Memphis has. Perhaps the scariest weapon for Memphis is center Moussa Cisse. He is still a freshman that is learning the ways, but his overall game has seen a massive improvement from where he was to start the season.

Keep in mind that Nolley is a transfer, and the rest of the Tigers are still very young. Much like UNC, this is a team that is still learning to play together while also developing their own individual games. Let's see what Penny Hardaway can do with this team, not just in this game or season but into next year as well.

Inside the Stats – SMU Mustangs

  • PS/G: 79.1 (53rd)
  • PA/G: 66.9 (92nd)
  • Off Rtg: 110.3 (53rd)
  • Def Rtg: 93.3 (61st)

Inside the Stats – Memphis Tigers

  • PS/G: 71.5 (193rd)
  • PA/G: 61.8 (18th)
  • Off Rtg: 97.6 (241st)
  • Def Rtg: 84.4 (5th)

Key Players to Watch

  • SMU - Kendric Davis (19.3 PPG, 7.8 APG)
  • SMU - Feron Hunt (12.2 PPG, 8.6 RPG)
  • MEM - Landers Nolley (12.8 PPG)
  • MEM - D.J. Jeffries (10.4 PPG, 6.2 RPG)

SMU-Memphis Predictions

With the way Memphis is playing right now, it's hard to bet against them. The spread seems low enough to take them SU, but feel free to roll with the red hot Tigers here. Overall, the point total going UNDER seems to be the best play.

SMU has gone OVER in seven of 10, but Memphis has gone UNDER in 10 of 12. Memphis' defense should earn your conviction more times than not, which is proven with the O/U odds with the Tigers. They're also playing at home, as opposed to SMU who enters an arena where the Tigers have failed to allow over 68 points this season.

Low scoring seems to be the play here, regardless of who wins. Memphis has the momentum and is playing at home, so feel free to side with their comfort level in a defensive battle.

  • Score Prediction: Memphis 69 SMU 65
  • Best Bets: UNDER

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