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Memphis vs. Central Florida,
03/15/2019 14:00 EDT,
Score: 79 - 55
Point Spread: -2½/-110 Central Florida
8* UCF (2:00 ET): The American Conference's Tournament is being played in Memphis, which obviously gives the host team some advantage. But it won't enough today for the Tigers to overcome a very underrated UCF team. While Memphis had to play yday, UCF got a bye into the quarterfinals. That, to me, is just as important as the homecourt advantage here for Memphis (if not more so). Now UCF did not fare well in their previous venture here, losing by 20 points. But that and a loss in the regular season finale (at Temple) will have them fully motivated this afternoon. Lay the short number.
Memphis really didn't need any kind of additional advantage for its 1st round matchup w/ Tulane. The Green Wave were the worst team in the American this year and quite possibly one of the worst teams in the entire country this year, excluding the smaller conferences. Tulane finished the season 0-19 SU vs. the rest of the American and 4-28 SU overall. So don't go putting much stock in the Tigers' 83-68 win yday. They totaled a season-high 52 pts in the 1st half, a number they won't come close to matching today. It was the second time they beat Tulane in the last month (both at home, no less), so the fact the Tigers have also won five of six is also slightly misleading.
UCF has had nearly a full week to "stew" over losing to Temple in the regular season finale. While that was called an "upset," Temple actually did go off as a 2.5-pt betting favorite. The loss dropped UCF out of the Top 25 and also halted an eight-game ATS win streak. Their only SU loss in those eight games was by five at Cincinnati. They later avenged that defeat and also won at Houston on 3/2, which was one of just two conference losses suffered by the Cougars all season. These teams like to play at VERY different tempos and I think it's going to be a problem for unrested Memphis here today. 8* UCF