Alabama Crimson Tide at Memphis Tigers Betting Preview

Alabama Crimson Tide at Memphis Tigers Betting Preview

Penny Hardaway’s return to Memphis as head coach was supposed to spark a renaissance in the program. The Tigers, now in Hardaway’s fourth year, have yet to reach the NCAA Tournament and find themselves in a spiral this season.

Memphis has lost four straight after a 5-0 star, including dropping a 74-72 decision to Murray State at home. Memphis hasn’t lost five straight games since the 1999-00 season. The Tigers had high hopes for this season after being recognized as having the nation’s top recruiting class.

Alabama, which is ranked sixth nationally and is playing its first true road game, provides Memphis an opportunity to show it is for real. Getting that victory won’t be easy.

The Crimson Tide plan a fun, up-tempo brand of basketball and have consecutive wins over ranked opponents, with victories over Gonzaga and Houston. This matchup will start at 8 p.m. at FedEx Forum.

Betting Odds & Lines

The spread for Tuesday night is set at Alabama -3.5. The Crimson Tide are -175 on the moneyline, while Memphis is +140. The over/under is set at 156 points.

Tide Rolling on offense

Alabama is off to an 8-1 start, which is its best start to a season since they started the 2006-07 season 13-1. The Crimson Tide have averaged 86 points per game this season and shot 35 percent from beyond the arc. Alabama averages 9.9 3-pointers made per game, which is the 31st highest mark in the nation.

Guard Jaden Shackelford, who averages 19.1 points per game, leads the SEC by making four 3-pointers per game and shoots 45.6 percent from the outside. Alabama has plenty of firepower on offense, as Jahvon Quinerly (15.1 points per game) and Keon Ellis (11.2) also average in double figures.

Memphis looks to live up to the hype

The Tigers haven’t beaten a top 10 team since they beat Louisville in 2014 and have lost eight straight contests to highly ranked teams. This season, Memphis has been at its best when the defense is locked in.

When the Tigers hold their opponents to less than 50 percent shooting, they are 5-1. Memphis averages 7.7 blocks per game, which leads the American Athletic Conference and is second in the NCAA. Memphis is also ranked 29th nationally in defensive efficiency.

The Tigers have struggled from the free-throw line, shooting just 66.8 percent, which ranks 270th nationally. Emoni Bates leads Memphis in scoring, averaging 11.2 points per game. Jalen Duran (10.4 points per game) and DeAndre Williams (10.2) also score in double figures.

Alabama will extend Memphis slide

There should be some concern of a letdown after two big wins for Alabama. However, Memphis is welcoming a fast-paced team that will attack from the outset. If the Tigers can’t limit the Crimson Tide’s 3-point shooting – or keep pace in a shootout – Memphis will have a hard time hanging around.

Bet on Alabama to cover the spread.

Betting picks: Alabama -3.5, over 156

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