Memphis vs. Illinois-Chicago odds: 2019 college basketball picks, Nov. 8 predictions from proven model

The Tigers will try to build off momentum from a rousing season-opener when No.14 Memphis hosts the Illinois-Chicago Flames on Friday night. Second-year coach Penny Hardaway's elite recruiting class paid immediate dividends when No. 1-rated prospect James Wiseman scored 28 points and grabbed 11 rebounds in his debut, a 97-64 victory against South Carolina State. The Flames have a veteran group that could make noise in the Horizon League, and they rested most of their starters in a 77-75 victory against NAIA Olivet Nazarene. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. ET at the FedEx Forum. The Tigers are 18-point favorites in the latest Memphis vs. Illinois-Chicago odds, while the over-under for total points scored is 157.5. Before considering your Memphis vs. UIC picks, listen to the college basketball predictions from the SportsLine Projection Model.

This model, which simulates every game 10,000 times, has crushed its top-rated against-the-spread college basketball picks the past three years, returning $2,770 to $100 players. It began the 2019-20 season hitting 60 percent of its top-rated spread selections.

Now, it has broken down Memphis vs. Illinois-Chicago. We can tell you it's leaning under, but it also says one side of the spread cashes in nearly 60 percent of simulations. That pick is only available at SportsLine. 

The model knows the 7-foot-1 Wiseman missed much of the exhibition season with various aches and pains, but when the lights came on Tuesday night, he came alive. The Tigers, who were 11-6 against the spread as a home favorite last season, looked like a different team than the one that went 22-14 and made the NIT last season, with dunks, alley-oops, offensive rebounds and putbacks. The big man made 11 of his 14 shots and blocked three, then left the game midway through the second half with the game well in hand.

Fellow five-star recruit Precious Achiuwa had 14 points and eight rebounds. Memphis out-rebounded S.C. State 42-25 and forced 18 turnovers. The Tigers started five freshmen on Tuesday and have three sophomores on the roster and no upperclassmen. Freshman D.J. Jeffries had four of the team's 10 blocked shots.

But just because the Tigers are stacked with talented freshmen doesn't mean they will will cover the Memphis vs. Chicago-Illinois spread.

UIC is among the most experienced teams in the Horizon League and has hopes of making a run at a title and the NCAA Tournament berth that goes with it. The Flames went 16-16 last season and were fourth in the conference, but have a trio of seniors who have scored more than 1,000 career points. Guard Tarkus Ferguson averaged 15.5 points, 6.8 rebounds and 5.2 assists last season, all team highs, while Godwin Boahen and Marcus Ottey each averaged 14.8 points and 3.5 rebounds. 

UIC comes off a nerve-wracking tune-up victory against Olivet Nazarene. The Flames started mostly reserves, but led by 13 at halftime. Boahen took over in the second half, scoring 19 of his 22 points and pulling out the victory with a three-point play with 2.6 seconds left. A potential game-winning three-pointer hit the rim and bounced away harmlessly. Forward Jacob Wiley had 11 points and seven rebounds, while Michael Diggins scored 11 and added five assists.

So who wins UIC vs. Memphis? And which side of the spread is hitting nearly 60 percent of the time? Visit SportsLine right now to see which side of the Illinois-Chicago vs. Memphis spread to back on Friday, all from the advanced model that has returned $2,770 on its top-rated college basketball picks.

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