St. Louis vs. Memphis Picks, Spread, and Review


St. Louis (25-7 SU/16-10-2 ATS) was the class of the Atlantic-10 this season along with Temple, but they had a few slip-ups late in the season, losing 64-62 at lowly Rhode Island on February 25 as -12 point road favs and also lost 71-64 to Xavier in the semifinals of the conference tournament.

St. Louis is a veteran team that has all five starters back from a year ago and that experience paid dividends this season for head coach Rick Majerus. One of the top defensive teams in the entire nation, the Billikens allowed just 57.5 ppg (#8) and they also enjoyed the largest scoring margin in the A-10 at plus-12.4 ppg as no other team was even a plus-8.0 through the regular season.

Opponents shot just 40.6 percent from the floor and 31.2 percent behind the three-point line this season against the Billikens and they also forced an average of 15 turnovers per game as well. At the offensive end the leader for the Billikens is Brian Conklin with 13.9 ppg, shooting not only 53.9 percent from the floor but also 129-of-163 (.791) at the charity stripe.

Kwamain Mitchell checks in with 12.1 ppg and is also first on the team with 106 assists and 41 steals. Although he came off the bench in all but one game, Cody Ellis was also a huge performer with 10.5 ppg as he knocked down a team-high 66 three-point shots.

Memphis (26-8 SU/17-12-2 ATS) finished the regular-season with a 13-3 mark in the C-USA to claim the title outright for the fifth time in school history. The Tigers rolled through the C-USA Tournament with wins over UTEP (65-47), UCF (83-52) and Marshall (83-57); and they closed out the season on an impressive 10-1 SU and ATS run.

Memphis boasts a top-flight offensive attack, ranking first in the conference in scoring offense (75.1 ppg), scoring margin (+10.9) and field goal percentage (.495), while placing second in free-throw percentage (.713) and three-point field goal percentage (.371).

It also has the defensive presence to support its potent scoring attack, ranking first in the league in field goal percentage defense (.388).

Much of the Tigers’ success can be attributed to Conference USA Player of the Year Will Barton, who in his sophomore season led the league in scoring at 18.1 ppg while shooting an impressive 51.1 percent from the field. Barton also grabbed 8.1 rpg averaged 1.5 thefts per game. Tarik Black (10.9 ppg, 4.9 rpg); Joe Jackson (11.1 ppg, 3.8 apg) and Chris Crawford (9.3 ppg, 3.9 apg) give the Tigers plenty of other options.

St. Louis is just 6-14 ATS as an underdog and 2-8-1 ATS in neutral site games, but the Billikens were 2-0 ATS in the two games they were installed as a dog this season, losing 64-60 at New Mexico as +5½ point dogs and beating Xavier 73-68 as +1½ point road dogs. St. Louis did go 8-2 ATS against non-conference foes this season, although they did not face a ranked opponent this year (at the time of the game).

Meanwhile, Memphis is on a 10-1 ATS run as mentioned above and the Tigers have fared well when laying points, going 13-3 ATS as a chalk. However, Memphis is only 11-25 ATS against non-conference teams and 7-17 ATS after scoring 80 or more points in its previous outing.

The Tigers are 52-39 ATS in all tournament games, but they have been a mixed bag in the NCAA Tourney, going 11-10 ATS.

Memphis is also 3-6 SU and 1-7-1 ATS against NCAA Tournament teams this season and we’ll look for that trend to continue here.

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