It's one of the most evenly-matched battles in the first round of the 2023 NCAA Tournament when the FAU Owls and Memphis Tigers meet Friday night in Columbus, Ohio. Both teams are ranked in the top 25 and come in off conference tournament championships. The 24th-ranked and eighth-seeded Tigers (26-8) stunned No. 1 Houston in the American Athletic Conference Tournament final on Sunday. They have won nine of their past 11 games, with both losses coming against Houston. No. 25 and ninth seed FAU (31-3) beat UAB 78-56 in the Conference USA final on Saturday and has won seven straight to set a school record for victories.  

Tip-off is set for 9:20 p.m. ET at Nationwide Arena. Caesars Sportsbook lists the Tigers as 2-point favorites in its latest FAU vs. Memphis odds, and the over/under for total points scored is set at 153. Before making any Memphis vs. FAU picks, be sure to check out the college basketball predictions and March Madness betting advice from the SportsLine Projection Model.

The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every Division I college basketball game 10,000 times. The model enters the 2023 NCAA Tournament 79-53 on all-top rated college basketball picks this season, returning nearly $1,300 for $100 players. Anybody who has followed it has seen huge returns.

Now, the model has broken down the FAU vs. Memphis matchup and just locked in its picks and March Madness predictions. You can head to SportsLine now to see the model's picks. Here are the betting lines and trends for Memphis vs. FAU:

  • FAU vs. Memphis spread: Tigers -1.5
  • FAU vs. Memphis over/under: 153 points 
  • FAU vs. Memphis money line: Owls +110, Tigers -130 
  • FAU: The Owls are 6-0-1 ATS with the rest advantage 
  • MEM: The Tigers are 5-2 ATS in neutral-site games 
  • FAU vs. Memphis picks: See picks at SportsLine

Why Memphis can cover

The Tigers are 16-6-1 against the spread but 8-3 ATS in their past 11. Memphis won nine of those 11 games, with two of the losses coming against Houston. The Owls haven't faced a team close to the caliber of Memphis this season. FAU's strength of schedule ranks 135th in the nation (248th non-conference), compared to 57th for the Tigers. Memphis ranks among the nation's top 25 in both scoring (79.5 points per game) and overall shooting percentage (48.1).

The Tigers are led by All-AAC players Kendric Davis and DeAndre Williams. Davis ranks 12th in the nation in scoring (22.1 points per game), and Williams averages 17.8 points and eight rebounds. Davis scored 31 and Williams added 16 while grabbing 13 rebounds in Sunday's AAC final. Both are strong defenders, combining for 2.5 steals and deterring shots. Opponents shoot less than 41% (34th), and the Tigers average 9.7 steals, led by Alex Lomax (2.4).   

Why FAU can cover

The Owls ran roughshod over Conference USA, and while Memphis is more tested, FAU can score with the best of them. They are one of four teams with more than 30 victories this season as they averaged 79.3 points (26th in the nation) while allowing 65.7 (60th). The Tigers yield 72.6 points per game (254th in Division I). FAU shoots 47.2% from the field (41st) and makes 37.2% of its 3-point attempts (22nd), while opponents hit just 41.1% of their shots (40th).      

Johnell Davis and Alijah Martin are both excellent players across the board. Davis averages 13.5 points, 5.2 rebounds and 1.5 steals, and Martin scores 13.2 and gets 5.4 boards and 1.5 steals. Vladislav Goldin gives the Owls size to deal with the Tigers' big men, and the 7-foot-1 sophomore averages 10.6 points, 6.4 rebounds and 1.2 blocks. Five FAU players have hit at least 40 3-pointers, led by Martin (62) and Nicholas Boyd (58). The Owls are 21-10-1 ATS.

How to make FAU vs. Memphis picks

SportsLine's model has broken down the Memphis vs. FAU matchup and revealed its results. It is leaning Under on the point total, with the model projecting 148 points. It also says one side of the spread is hitting in well over 60% of simulations. You can only get the model's pick at SportsLine

So who wins FAU vs. Memphis in Friday's NCAA Tournament matchup? And which side of the spread hits well over 60% of the time? Visit SportsLine right now to see which side of Memphis vs. FAU you should be backing Friday, all from the advanced model up almost $1,300 on its top-rated college basketball picks this season, and find out.