Memphis Tigers vs. Houston Cougars - 12/31/14 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction
Houston Cougars (7-4) at Memphis Tigers (7-4)
College Basketball: Wednesday, December 31, 2014 at 2:00 pm (FedExForum)
The Line: Memphis Tigers -12.5 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds
TV: ESPN U
The Memphis Tigers and Houston Cougars kick off conference play at FedEx Forum on Wednesday.
The Houston Cougars are hoping for their defense to make some noise in the AAC because the scoring appears to be competitive. Time will tell although an 80-53 rout of Mississippi Valley State on Sunday wasn't much of an indicator given the Delta Devils struggles. The Cougars held MVSU to 37% from the floor and only 20 second half points while sinking shots at 48% including 13-30 from beyond the arc. UH also owned +18 on the backboards and had nine players score points. Jherrod Stiggers poured in a game high 26 points including 8-11 on threes while Cavon Baker netted 13 points. Devonta Pollard was next in line with 12 points and and seven yanks followed by a nine point, ten rebound effort from Danrad Knowles.
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The Memphis Tigers were one of the stronger squads in the AAC a season ago but through graduation some of that talent is gone which leaves us with a team that is a bit of a mystery right now. The Tigers are being led by a defense that allows 60 points although both ends of the floor have been playing well during a four game winning streak that was capped off by 78-51 victory over visiting Western Illinois before the Christmas break. The Tigers led 41-14 after 20 minutes behind 50% shooting while limiting the Leathernecks to 30% which equalled 13 field goals. Nick King, Calvin Godfrey and Austin Nichols scored 12 points apiece with King and Godfrey snagging 19 rebounds while Trashon Burrell and RaShawn Powell added ten points eack with Burrell hauling in nine boards.
The Cougars are 8-1 ATS in their last 9 games following a SU win of more than 20 points and 7-2-1 ATS in their last 10 vs. American Athletic Conference. Houston are 10-3-1 ATS in their last 14 games overall and 6-2 ATS in their last 8 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600. The Tigers are 6-2 ATS in their last 8 games following a SU win of more than 20 points and are 2-5 ATS in their last 7 vs. American Athletic Conference. Memphis are 2-8 ATS in their last 10 games following a S.U. win and 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games vs. a team with a winning S.U. record. Not much to go on with Memphis playing a tougher schedule but but for the AAC opener I'll take defense....