Murray State vs. Memphis NCAA Basketball Betting Analysis and Free Pick

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Tevin Brown #10 of the Murray State. Joe Robbins/Getty Images/AFP

Spiraling down the ranks thanks to a 3-game losing streak, Penny Hardaway and the Memphis Tigers aim to return to the win column on Friday’s sports betting card when they host the Murray State Racers.

Murray State Racers vs. Memphis Tigers

Friday, December 10, 2021 – 08:00 PM EST at FedExForum 

Nobody is more upset by the recent fall from grace by Memphis than its head coach. And nobody understands more what the Tigers are up against in this game with Murray State than Hardaway. The Racers aren’t going to play the patsy for Memphis to experiment with pulling out of the dive that tumbled the Tigers out of the top 25 after beginning the season ranked No. 12.

This was a Memphis team that some didn’t think would lose three games all season, much less three games before Christmas. College basketball futures made the Tigers out to be the team to beat in the American Athletic Conference, and join Houston as two teams capable of making deep runs in the NCAA Men’s Tournament. Murray State was predicted to be the toughest challenger to Belmont in the Ohio Valley Conference. 

Racers 20th in the Country Averaging 83.3 PPG 

If you’re stuck at a boring company Christmas party, streaming this game on the ESPN app is one option to liven up your Friday evening. The best online betting sites have installed Memphis as a 10½-point favorite, and most shops are listing 143 for the scoreboard target. 

Matt McMahon brings a confident and experienced group of Racers into Friday’s contest, Murray State dragging along a string of four consecutive wins to Bluff City. KJ Williams and Tevin Brown have picked right up where they left off last season as the top 2 scorers on the team, Brown leading the way this year with an 18.1 PPG clip while Williams (17.8 ppg) is close behind while leading the team on the glass (7.3 rpg). Transfers Trae Hannibal (from South Carolina) and D.J. Burns (Southern) have also melded quickly with their new team

Murray State eclipsed the 90-point mark each of the last two times out, the first being a 98-61 rout of D-II Campbellsville and most recently a 93-87 triumph against Middle Tennessee last Saturday. The Racers only covered half of the 12-point spread on the NCAA basketball odds board in the win over the Blue Raiders and needed a big 26-8 scoring edge at the free-throw line to just win the game outright. 

Hardaway: Lack of Team Effort During Three-Game Skid 

Many of the self-anointed media experts are fumbling around with answers to why Memphis is struggling, in part due to their reluctance to they were wrong in their preseason predictions for the Tigers. Hardaway blames it on too many of his players being selfish and wanting to be the star each night. 

Hardaway is no different than other coaches this time of year as he searches for the right combinations to have on the floor together, and that is especially true with all of the transfers this season. There’s no question the Tigers have an uber-talented frontcourt with senior DeAndre Williams plus freshmen Emoni Bates and Jalen Duren, but the freshmen struggled in last Saturday’s 67-63 loss at Ole Miss, GTbets (visit our GTbets Review) closing Memphis as 1-point road chalk. 

If Memphis can’t post a Dubya Friday night, this losing streak could easily stretch to six games. The Tigers host No. 9 Alabama next Tuesday, then square off against in-state rival and the 13th-ranked Tennessee Volunteers next Saturday in Nashville. 

MSU and UM Meeting for the First Time in Ten Years 

Thanks to their campuses being just 150 miles or so apart, the Racers and Tigers used to get together frequently on their non-conference schedules. Friday’s matchup marks the 62nd meeting between the programs, and the all-time record is pretty close with Memphis owning a 34-27 advantage. Murray State dominated the rivalry early by winning 24 of the first 35 matches, while the Tigers have won 23 of the last 26. 

Despite not playing in the same conference, there were times Murray State and Memphis met twice a season. It has been almost exactly 10 years, however, since the last matchup. The Racers won that December 2011 clash at FedExForum by a 76-72 count, pulling off a sizable upset as 10-point underdogs against the then-No. 21 Tigers. 

Given the talent that is on the roster, Memphis could beat top 25 teams by double digits if the Tigers played up to their potential. I’m just not ready to make them my college basketball pick until they break out of this funk and start converting potential into reality. 

NCAAB Pick: Murray State +10½ (-105) with BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review)

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State +10½ (-105)
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*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.