The top-seeded Memphis Tigers look to continue their postseason run when they take on the second-seeded Boise State Broncos in a 2021 NIT quarterfinal matchup on Thursday. With the first-round win over fourth-seeded Dayton, the Tigers (17-8, 11-4) have now made seven consecutive trips to the NIT in which they won at least one game (1998, 2001, 2002, 2005, 2010, 2019 and 2021). The Broncos (19-8, 14-6), who had all five starters score in double figures in the win over SMU, finished just 1 ½ games behind first-place San Diego State in the Mountain West standings. Whoever wins Thursday's game will advance to the semifinals and is guaranteed two more games in the NIT with either an appearance in the championship or consolation game.
The game from UNT coliseum in Denton, Texas, is scheduled to begin at 9 p.m. ET. Memphis is averaging 72.1 points per game, while Boise State averages 76.2. The Tigers are 4.5-point favorites in the latest Boise State vs. Memphis odds from William Hill Sportsbook, while the over-under for total points scored is set at 143. Before making any Memphis vs. Boise State picks, check out the college basketball predictions from the SportsLine Projection Model.
The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every Division I college basketball game 10,000 times. Over the past four-plus years, the proprietary computer model has generated an impressive profit of over $2,200 for $100 players on its top-rated college basketball picks against the spread. Anyone who has followed it has seen huge returns.
Now, the model has set its sights on Memphis vs. Boise State in the NIT 2021. You can head to SportsLine to see its picks. Here are several college basketball odds and trends for Boise State vs. Memphis:
- Boise State vs. Memphis spread: Memphis -4.5
- Boise State vs. Memphis over-under: 143 points
- Boise State vs. Memphis money line: Boise State +175, Memphis -210
- BSU: Held opponents to fewer than 60 points in nine games this season
- MEM: Shot 58.6 percent (17 of 29) in the second half of its win over Dayton
Why Memphis can cover
Sophomore guard Boogie Ellis has made his presence felt on the Tigers' offense, scoring in double figures 13 times this season. Ellis is averaging 9.9 points, two rebounds, 1.4 assists and 1.1 steals per game. He scored a career-high 27 points against seventh-ranked Houston in the AAC Tournament semifinals and was named to the all-tournament team. Ellis was named the AAC Sixth Man of the Year and was named to the conference's weekly honor roll twice this season. As a freshman in 2019-20, he started 27 of 31 games and averaged eight points and 3.3 rebounds.
Another sophomore making a big impact on offense is forward D.J. Jeffries, who is averaging 9.6 points, five rebounds, 1.7 assists and one steal per game. He has also registered 17 blocks this year. He logged 18 points, a career-high 11 rebounds and a fourth consecutive game with three steals against Tulane on Dec. 16. As a freshman last year, he started 13 games and averaged 10.8 points and 4.3 rebounds before being sidelined at the start of February with a knee injury.
Why Boise State can cover
The Broncos snapped a four-game losing streak in the first-round win over SMU. Senior guard Derrick Alston Jr., who scored 13 points in the victory, leads Boise State in scoring at 17.3 points per game. He is also averaging 3.6 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 0.7 steals per game. He is connecting on 44.6 percent of his field goals, including 38.7 percent from 3-point range, and 86.7 percent from the free throw line. He started 27 games and was named an All-Mountain West first team selection by the coaches and media.
Senior forward Abu Kigab, who has started 25 games, is not expected to play after suffering a shoulder injury. He is averaging 11.8 points, 5.4 rebounds, two assists, 1.2 steals and 0.9 blocks per game. Picking up the slack on offense is junior guard Marcus Shaver Jr., who is coming off a 13-point performance against SMU. Shaver averages 10.6 points, 4.5 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 1.3 steals per game. He is knocking down 82.6 percent of his free throws.
How to make Boise State vs. Memphis picks
The model is leaning under on the total, projecting the teams to combine for 141 points. It has also generated an against-the-spread pick that cashes in over 60 percent of simulations. You can only see the pick at SportsLine.
So who wins Boise State vs. Memphis? And which side of the spread hits over 60 percent of the time? Visit SportsLine right now to see which side of the spread you need to jump on, all from the computer model that has crushed its college basketball picks.