Memphis has covered five of its last six games played on a neutral court, while the Cavaliers have won seven straight on the neutral hardwood.
The two meet in the East Region on Sunday, as Virginia looks to reach the Sweet 16 for the first time since 1995, and the underdog Tigers try for their third trip since 2008.
Top seeds have dominated matchups with No. 8 seeds since 2009, with the No. 1 schools enjoying a 7-2 against-the-spread streak.
Spread and total points scored betting line
The Cavaliers opened as 5.5-point favorites; the total was 142.5. (Compare lines and consensus on the Odds Shark matchup report)
Odds Shark computer pick
Why pick Memphis to cover the spread
Memphis looked sharp against a good George Washington squad, something that can’t be said about Virginia’s first game in the tournament.
Virginia struggled, especially on the boards, as it was held without a single offensive rebound. On the other hand, Memphis gathered 15 offensive boards against George Washington.
Second-chance points will be golden for the Tigers.
Why pick Virginia to cover the spread
Virginia ruled the Atlantic Coast Conference all season with its No. 1-ranked defense and won’t change things now.
The Cavaliers haven’t allowed 70 points in a regulation game since Dec. 30 and catch a Memphis team that is mired in a 3-6-1 slide against the point spread and has been especially bad as an underdog.
Smart betting pick
While the Cavaliers received an unexpected scare, they’re still the more consistent team by a wide margin. Virginia has won 18 of its last 19 games, and Memphis has alternated losses and wins for seven straight contests.
The Tigers haven’t won consecutive games since Feb. 22, and they come in mired in an 0-4 slide following victories both straight up and against the spread. Take Virginia.
Memphis Tigers: No. 185
Virginia Cavaliers: No. 24 (per Odds Shark power ranks)
March Madness betting trends
- Virginia 17-1 SU past 18 games overall
- Virginia 1-4-1 ATS in tournament since 1996
- Memphis played four straight tournament UNDERs
- No. 1 seeds 7-2 ATS past nine vs No. 8 seeds since 2009
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