American Athletic Conference Tournament Betting Advice and Analysis

American Athletic Conference Tournament Betting Advice and Analysis
© USA Today

The 11-team American Athletic Conference begins play Thursday with three games at Dickies Arena in Fort Worth, Texas. The title game is Sunday.

This could be one of the last AAC tournaments with the current teams competing against one another. Houston, Cincinnati and Central Florida and joining the Big 12 no later than the 2024-25 season.

But this year’s March Madness shoutout in Texas promises to be packed with aggressive play, showcasing some of the most talented collegiate players in the country.

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Look for Houston, Memphis and possibly Southern Methodist to advance to the NCAA men’s tournament, beginning next week.

But don’t be surprised if a competitive team like Tulane, Central Florida or Wichita State battles to the top in Fort Worth and earns the automatic NCAA tournament bid that comes with a conference tourney title.

The odds below are provided by FanDuel Sportsbook.

Favorite: Houston Cougars

The nationally No. 18-ranked Cougars (26-5) are a handful for anybody in any collegiate league. Last year, Houston made its way the Final Four before losing its opening game to Baylor, the ultimate national champion.

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Don’t be shocked if the Cougars wind up at this year’s Final Four on April 2-4 in New Orleans at the Caesars Superdome.

Before then, keep a close watch on Houston during the AAC tournament.

Houston’s prowess starts with forwards Josh Carlton and Fabian White Jr., both members of the All-Conference first team. The Cougars’ talent pool runs deep. Senior guard Kyler Edwards is a second team All-Conference player, while sophomore guard Jamal Shead landed a third team All-Conference spot.

Coach Kelvin Sampson can be expected to guide his talented team the top. Sampson is the conference coach of the year.

Take the Cougars at -140 on FanDuel Sportsbook.

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Contender: Memphis Tigers

In a Tennessee town where fans take basketball seriously, Memphis Coach Penny Hardaway caught a little mid-season guff when the Tigers had a couple of multiple-game losing streaks.

But the naysayers have been silenced.

Under the former NBA star's leadership, Memphis (19-9) has been on a tear, winning 10 of their last 11 games, including two convincing victories over conference rival Houston.

Led by All-Conference first team freshman center Jalen Duren, the Tigers are dominant on defense. Memphis has held opponents to an average of 61.5 points in their final four games, including a 75-61 win over Houston in the season finale at the FedExForum on historic Beale Street.

At this year’s conference tournament, Memphis could have Houston, and the rest of the league, singing the blues.

For a college basketball betting play with nice payout, consider taking Memphis at +400.

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Challenger: Southern Methodist Mustangs

The Mustangs (22-7) hope sharpshooting guard Kendric Davis can help them lock up an NCAA tournament bid during the next few days in Forth Worth. If SMU can win the AAC tournament title, the team will secure a guaranteed place in the NCAA field of 68.

Davis, the conference player of the year, is capable of lifting his hard-charging teammates to the top. The Texas native led the league in scoring this season, at 19.5 points a game, including a 25-point performance March 3 in the Mustangs’ 76-71 home win over Cincinnati.

SMU might need to emerge Sunday with a tournament title to keep going. The Mustangs are capable big wins, including two victories over Memphis this season and one over Houston. The Mustangs also registered out-of-conference wins over Vanderbilt and Dayton.

Hungry teams are often a good bet. That makes SMU at +650 worth a shot.

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