Alabama vs. Memphis Prediction: Can Memphis Stop Four-Game Skid?

Alabama vs. Memphis predictions and picks for Tuesday's college basketball matchup between the two. See how Mike Spector is playing this one
Mike Spector |
Tue, December 14, 9:04 AM EST | 4 min read
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Alabama vs. Memphis Prediction: Can Memphis Stop Four-Game Skid?

Alabama Crimson Tide vs. Memphis Tigers

Spread: Alabama -5.5

Total: 155

When: Tuesday, December 14 - 9:00 PM

Where to Watch: ESPN

Alabama vs. Memphis odds

Alabama vs. Memphis Prediction

Tonight’s non-conference battle between the Alabama Crimson Tide and Memphis Tigers had more appeal in the preseason when each was ranked in the top 14 in the AP poll. While Alabama has moved into the top ten and looks like a bonafide Final Four contender, Memphis is reeling, having lost four straight games. Can Penny Hardaway rally his Tigers to protect their home court and earn their biggest win of the season? Or will Nate Oats and Alabama continue to prove they are a team to be reckoned with come March?

It seems like ages ago that Alabama dropped a game to Iona in the ESPN Events Invitational, as they have been arguably the most impressive team in the country since that loss. The Crimson Tide have won four straight games by an average of 12.8 PPG, with their last two wins coming against Gonzaga and Houston. The Bulldogs and Cougars are two of the best defensive teams in the country, but Alabama’s offense averaged more than 1.14 points per possession in each of those games while making better than 38% of their 3-point attempts as well. Alabama ranks in the top 30 in the country in adjusted offensive and defensive efficiency and is the ninth-best two-point shooting team at 58.3%.

Memphis head coach Penny Hardaway has some real chemistry issues with his team, citing his displeasure with how his veteran players and his young NBA-bound lottery picks have not meshed well to this point. In their last game, the Tigers had an opportunity to end a long losing streak at home but fell 74-72 to Murray State in a game they led by 14 points. The Tigers had issues defending the three-point line against Murray State, as the Racers went 14-for-29 (48.3%) from deep, with ten of their three-pointers coming in the second half.

Much of what Alabama wants to do offensively is centered around Jahvon Quinerly’s ability to break down defenders and drive to the rim or kick to open shooters. He has been spectacular in their two high-profile wins over Gonzaga and Houston, averaging 17 points and seven rebounds. In addition, Jalen Shackelford has shot 73.3% from deep over the last two games, as both he and Quinerly have spearheaded the Crimson Tide offense.

The only team to take Alabama out of their transition game this season was Iona, which happened to be the only game the Crimson Tide lost this year. Considering Memphis plays at the 13th fastest tempo in the country (per KenPom), that seemingly plays right into Alabama’s hands. So too does Memphis’ turnover problems, as they turn the ball over on 25% of their possessions (350th worst in the country), so look for Alabama to score plenty of easy buckets in transition.

From a point spread perspective, there is concern that the mental fatigue of back-to-back top ten wins wears on Alabama entering this matchup. However, Memphis has just as much concern amid a four-game losing streak and with a massive game against in-state rival Tennessee waiting in their next matchup.

Memphis has not been the disruptive defensive team they were at the beginning of the year, as they have allowed 75.3 PPG during their four-game losing streak. Alabama will allow the Tigers more possessions than usual, as they too play at a top-20 tempo.

The over has cashed in each of Alabama’s last four games and is 5-2 in Memphis’ last seven home games. Look for another shootout to ensue tonight.

Alabama vs. Memphis Pick

  • PICK: OVER 155 (-110)
Mike Spector
@MikeSpector01

Mike Spector brings unmatched knowledge and insight into the game of football, and more importantly the process of betting on NFL football. Mike is the #2 ranked expert in FantasyPros' NFL betting contest

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