Memphis vs. Virginia Tech Prediction and Odds: Back the Tigers in Coming Out Party

Memphis Tigers center Jalen Duren flexes after dunking the ball against the North Carolina Central
Memphis Tigers center Jalen Duren flexes after dunking the ball against the North Carolina Central / Joe Rondone/The Commercial Appeal / USA

Memphis is one of the most interesting teams this college basketball season after it secured commitments from Jalen Duren and Emoni Bates ahead of this season.

They join veterans DeAndre Williams, Alex Lomax and Landers Nolley to comprise the best Tigers team under Penny Hardaway.

They will face their most difficult opponent to date in Virginia Tech at the Barclays Center on Wednesday night.

The Hokies haven't been challenged yet this season, but are seen as a threat, ranking inside KenPom's top 30. Memphis has the No.1 defense this year, so can they make a statement on a neutral floor?

Here are the odds from WynnBET Sportsbook.

Memphis vs. Virginia Tech Odds, Spread and Total


  • Memphis: -2.5 (-115)
  • Virginia Tech: +2.5 (-105)


  • Memphis: -150
  • Virginia Tech: +130

Total: 140.5 (Over -105/Under -115)

Memphis vs. Virginia Tech Pick and Prediction

Memphis has actually faced some legitimate opponents already this season, beating St, Louis by 16 (No. 94 in KenPom) and Western Kentucky by 12 (No. 108).

While the Tigers are still coming together with the likes of Duren and Bates, the identity is there for Hardaway's club. The team is playing at the fastest tempo in the country and looking to use their athletic prowess to dominate teams with the No. 1 defensive efficiency mark thus far. Further, they are top 10 in offensive rebounding rate and top 10 in free throw rate.

However, there are some drawbacks to this. The Tigers are bottom 30 in turnover rate and opponent's offensive rebounding rate. They will be playing a disciplined Virginia Tech team that likes to play in the half court and can take advantage of Memphis' frenetic pace by forcing them to execute at a high level.

Va. Tech has played around 300 in adjusted tempo under Mike Young, and will need to limit possessions and make this into a grind. They simply can't get into a track meet with the likes of Duren and Bates.

I'm not confident they will be able to do that given the turnover-happy Memphis defense will be able to speed this game up. Last year, for reference, teams like Florida (84th in opponent turnover percentage) and Georgia Tech (18th) gave the Hokies fits, losing each.

Memphis is better than both of those teams at turning their opponent over, more than a quarter of possessions. Ultimately, I'm siding with them at the short spread. Virginia Tech hasn't been challenged yet this season, and I expect the Tigers to make a statement on Wednesday.

I admittedly got this at -1.5 last night, but I still see at a juiced -2.5 and would play this up to -3.

PICK: Memphis -2.5, play to -3

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