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Memphis at Oklahoma State: What bettors need to know

Memphis Tigers at Oklahoma State Cowboys (-6.5, OFF)

After beating up on lesser competition so far this season, No. 9 Oklahoma State will face a major test when it hosts No. 11 Memphis in an Old Spice Classic game Tuesday that should feature plenty of offensive fireworks. The Cowboys are outscoring opponents by an average of 102.3-55 in three victories, paced by Phil Forte’s 21-point average off the bench. Starters Markel Brown (15.3), Le’Bryan Nash (13.7), Marcus Smart (13.7) and Bryan Williams (10) average double-figures for Oklahoma State.

The Tigers were the last team in Division I to open their season, drubbing Austin Peay 95-69 in their lid-lifter on Nov. 14. Memphis’ talented backcourt lived up to its expectations, with returners Joe Jackson, Chris Crawford, Geron Johnson, and Missouri transfer Michael Dixon Jr. breaking the 10-point mark. Johnson also recorded a double-double, pacing Memphis with 10 rebounds.

TV: 8 p.m. ET, ESPN

LINE: The line has not moved from -6.5. The total is currently OFF.

ABOUT MEMPHIS (1-0, 1-0 ATS): With depth established in the backcourt, size in the paint was the biggest question mark for coach Josh Pastner entering this season, and at least in the Tigers’ season-opening win, it was answered. Freshman Nick King, who stands 6-7, poured in 13 off the bench and sophomore Shaq Goodwin showed the touch around the rim that made him such a highly touted recruit with 10. Memphis also outrebounded Austin Peay 50-27.

ABOUT OKLAHOMA STATE (3-0, 0-0 ATS): Three blowout victories have done nothing to diminish the big expectations in Stillwater with four starters returning from a squad that won 24 games and went to the Sweet 16 last season. Smart is the unquestioned leader of the group, surprisingly returning to school after a freshman season in which he averaged 15.4 points, 5.8 rebounds, 4.2 assists and three steals and won Big 12 Player of the Year honors. Joined by dangerous scorers like Brown and Nash, the Cowboys are a legitimate Final Four threat if they stay healthy under sixth-year coach Travis Ford.

TRENDS:

* Tigers are 5-1 ATS in their last six games versus a team with a winning percentage above .600.
* Cowboys are 1-6-1 ATS in their last eight home games.
* Under is 5-1 in Tigers last six road games.
* Under is 4-1 in Cowboys last five games after scoring more than 90 points in their previous game.

TIP-INS:


1. The Cowboys are search of their second consecutive 4-0 start.

2. Tuesday marks only the fourth true road game in November for Memphis since 1973.

3. Pastner last faced Oklahoma State in the Sweet 16 of the 2005 NCAA Tournament as an assistant at Arizona under Lute Olson.

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