Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 9:46 AM

Memphis vs. Houston Predictions, Odds, Preview

Mar. 7, 2021
Thom Cunningham
NCAA BK Expert

The Memphis Tigers look to improve their March Madness resume with a tough road trip to Texas, facing the Houston Cougars. Tip is set for noon (ET) and will air on CBS.


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Memphis-Houston Betting Odds

  • Spread: Houston -10
  • Total: 132.5

Odds Subject to Change

Houston is a large double-digit home favorite, given a -10-point spread. The Cougars have covered the spread 16 times over their last 22 games, while Memphis is 11-10 on the ATS.

The point total is set at 132.5, which tends to lean UNDER in regards to Memphis' O/U.The Tigers have gone UNDER the point total in 15 of 21 games, while Houston is 11-11 on the O/U and have a top defense nationally.

The Houston Cougars are -10-point favorites against Memphis, covering the spread 16 times in their 22 games this season. (AP)

Betting Analysis – Memphis Tigers

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

  • SU: 15-6
  • ATS: 11-10
  • SU - Home: 10-3
  • SU - Away: 5-3
  • O/U: 5-15-1

Memphis enters this road game looking to barge into March Madness, and have a chance with a win here. The Tigers will likely rely on their defense, which ranks second nationally in defensive efficiency (84.9) and 15th nationally in points allowed per game (62.1).

The weakness for Memphis is the offense, although it has picked up in the second half of the season. Landers Nolley leads the team in points per game with 13.1, white Boogie Ellis, D.J. Jeffries and Lester Quinones averaging nine points or more too.

Alex Lomax is currently listed as questionable, and leads the Tigers in assists per game. If he is out then the suffering Tigers' offense will hurt even more. Memphis is dangerous however, winning six straight along with nine of their last 10. They also destroyed Wichita State, who is extremely hot right now, but that game was at home.

Betting Analysis – Houston Cougars

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

  • SU: 20-3
  • ATS: 16-6
  • SU - Home: 15-0
  • SU - Away: 5-3
  • O/U: 11-11

Houston is trying to secure a No. 2 seed in the March Madness Tournament, and will look to come out hot on 'Senior Day' inside Fertitta. Justin Gorham and Dejon Jarreau are the two main contributing seniors for this team, so keep an eye on them in this one.

Quentin Grimes has shot up the Wooden Award odds (Despite Luka Garza a lock at this point) by averaging 17.9 points per game to go along with 6.1 rebounds. Marcus Sasser is another heavy contributor for the Cougars, averaging 14 points per game.

Much like Memphis however, the Cougar strength is the defense. Houston allows 57.3 points per game which ranks second nationally. The Cougars also own the fourth-highest defensive efficiency rating (85.5). They also own the sixth-highest offensive efficiency rating, presenting one of the best offense-to-defense efficiency ratios in the country - which is a common trend among March Madness champions.

Inside the Stats – Memphis Tigers

  • PS/G: 72.5 (152nd)
  • PA/G: 62.1 (15th)
  • Off Rtg: 99.1 (230th)
  • Def Rtg: 84.9 (2nd)

Inside the Stats – Houston Cougars

  • PS/G: 77.6 (47th)
  • PA/G: 57.3 (2nd)
  • Off Rtg: 115.8 (6th)
  • Def Rtg: 85.5 (4th)

Key Players to Watch

  • MEM - Landers Nolley (13.1 PPG)
  • MEM - Boogie Ellis (9.4 PPG)
  • UH - Quentin Grimes (17.9 PPG, 6.1 RPG)
  • UH - Marcus Sasser (14 PPG

Memphis-Houston Predictions

Houston's 16-6 ATS odds are worth playing here, as a home game against an inconsistent offense seems reasonable to consider the spread. Both defenses should manage to keep their game UNDER the point total too.

Memphis' trends heavily favor the point total going UNDER, while the Cougars' trends heavily favor them covering. Playing both odds should see one hit at minimum, but with the the stout defenses the point total has more conviction between the two.

  • Score Prediction: Houston 71 Memphis 61
  • Best Bets: UNDER


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