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Memphis Tigers at #2 Houston Cougars Betting Preview

The top two teams in the American Athletic Conference hit the floor on Sunday when the #2 Houston Cougars (24-2, 12-1 AAC) host the Memphis Tigers (20-6, 10-3 AAC). This contest will be the first of two meetings played over the next two weeks between the two rivals. Memphis hosts Houston to close out the regular season on March 5th.

The AAC showdown tips off at 3 p.m. EST inside the Fertitta Center in Houston, Texas. The Cougars are a 13.5-point favorite, and the over/under total is currently at 141.5 points.

What to Know – Memphis Tigers

The Tigers come into the big game sitting two games behind the Cougars in the conference race. A win over Houston would be the fourth victory in a row for Memphis and move the Tigers within a game of the AAC’s top spot. According to KenPom, Memphis ranks 39th, while the Tigers are 41st in the NCAA NET rankings.

Offensively, Memphis ranks second in the conference with 80.5 points per game, shooting a league-best 48.4% from the floor and 33.5% from the outside. The Tigers’ defense is eighth in the AAC, limiting opponents to 73.0 ppg, 40.2% shooting from the field, and 32.1% shooting from the 3-point line.

This season the Tigers are 10-13-3 against the spread and 4-4-1 ATS away from home. Memphis is a solid 7-1 ATS over its last eight matchups against the Cougars.

What to Know – #2 Houston Cougars

The Cougars roll into the weekend on a six-game winning streak and the no. 2 ranking in the country. A win for Houston gives the Cougars a three-game cushion in the conference race, all but locking up the title with four games remaining. Both KenPom and the NCAA NET agree that Houston is analytically the top team in the nation.

Houston is fourth in the league in scoring, averaging 75.8 ppg while shooting 47.3% from the field and 35.9% from beyond the arc. The Cougars own the top-scoring defense in the AAC, surrendering 55.4 ppg, 35.5% shooting from the floor, and 26.7% shooting from three.

Houston showcases a 16-10 mark ATS and an 8-7 record ATS on its home floor. Recent trends highlight that the Cougars are 5-1 ATS over their previous six games on Sundays.

The Pick is In

Memphis has won its last four games on the road but could be without leading scorer Kendric Davis in this one. If Davis can’t go, it will be difficult for the Tigers to find scoring opportunities against this Cougars defense.

Houston is a top-ranked team for a reason. The Cougars can effectively get the job done on both ends of the floor. With the rash of injuries for Memphis, look for Houston to get an early lead and build on that advantage in the second half.

Even if Davis can go, don’t expect him to be 100% on an ankle injury suffered just three days ago. The safe pick is Houston here.

The Pick: #2 Houston Cougars -13.5

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