With just two games left in the regular season including their final home game of the year on Thursday, the Cincinnati Bearcats will attempt to get back on track hosting the Memphis Tigers.
Cincinnati was a 4-point NBA betting odds favorite at home, according to Bovada.
Cincinnati found its stride in the middle of December, putting together a stretch of 15 straight wins that included impressive road upsets over Memphis and Louisville. But over the last five games, the Bearcats have struggled against quality opponents with losses to SMU, Louisville and Connecticut.
Cincinnati owns the third stingiest scoring defense in the nation allowing only 57.2 points per game and has an explosive offensive superstar in senior guard Sean Kilpatrick, who averages 20.3 points per game. But without much secondary support on offense, Cincinnati has a very slim margin for error
Memphis picked up a strong win last Saturday at home, topping Louisville 72-66 as a 5-point home underdog. The win improved Memphis' home record to 8-0 SU and 5-2 ATS over its last eight games, but road play has been another story for the Tigers. Over their last four games away from home, Memphis is 1-3 SU and 0-3-1 ATS.
The Tigers have a balanced offense that averages 78.6 points per game but usually ends up playing in shootouts with a defense that allows 69.9 points per game.
This matchup looks on paper to be a pretty classic offense vs. defense showdown. Cincinnati went into Memphis as a 5.5-point underdog back at the beginning of January and won the game easily by a final score of 69-53.
Memphis will need to do a much better job of establishing its offense Thursday to earn a better result, but that is easier said than done on the road.
The 69-53 final went UNDER the total as just about all of the games Memphis and Cincinnati have played this year have done. Cincinnati is 18-5 on the UNDER this year while Memphis is 16-9.
These numbers indicate that buckets could be hard to come by on Thursday night.