With the 2022-23 college basketball season finally here, it’s time we show some love to the American Athletic Conference (AAC). Historically one of the most overlooked conferences in all of the NCAA, AAC basketball demands attention once again. Although the conference only has one team in the Top-25 College Basketball Rankings, with the Houston Cougars sitting in third in both polls, the AAC has plenty to offer.
The Memphis Tigers lost some talent this past year to the NBA and transfers, but they were able to bring in star point guard Kendric Davis from SMU. UCF struggled last year but signed the #64 overall recruit in Taylor Hendricks.
The question every conference faces right now is the old “What should we expect?” With plenty of departures and new additions across AAC basketball, there are plenty of unknowns. We are still a couple of weeks away from conference play, with plenty of storylines left to unfold. For those of you college basketball betting fans, this conference will not only be interesting to follow, but it will surely keep you on the edge of your seat from November to March.
AAC Basketball Preview and College Basketball Betting Odds
Odds to Win AAC
- Houston (-360)
- Memphis (+700)
- Cincinnati (+1400)
- Tulane (+1800)
- UCF (+3000)
- Temple (+3000)
- Wichita State (+5000)
- SMU (+5000)
- South Florida (+8000)
- Tulsa (+10000)
- East Carolina (+10000)
AAC Basketball Preseason Betting Odds Reactions
The preseason AAC basketball betting odds suggest that this conference will likely be won by Houston for the second straight season. Memphis appears to be the only team the oddsmakers believe can give Houston a challenge in the conference this year as they are the only other team with odds under +1000.
Will Houston and Memphis dominate and make this a two-horse race? Can a preseason long-shot make a run with a couple of upsets? Here are three takeaways for bettors to note.
Houston Basketball Reigns Supreme
Houston may have lost some talent this year with the departures of Kyler Edwards, Josh Carlton and Fabian White among others however they have plenty talent returning. Among the biggest additions is senior guard Marcus Sasser who had to sit out virtually all of conference play last year due to a foot injury. Guards Jamal Shead and Tramon Mark should be able to step up as they did last year when Sasser was out with injury.
To make matters worse for the rest of the AAC, Houston also picked up five-star recruit Jarace Walker along with four-star recruit Terrance Arceneaux. Both are big athletic forwards that should be able to see plenty of run even as freshmen. If they can at least fill in as role players, this team will be extremely deep and dangerous.
Is Memphis the Next Best Thing?
Memphis will have plenty of turnover in 2022 with only two of their top 10 scorers returning in Deandre Williams and Alex Lomax. The Tigers didn’t sign any recruits in 2022 but did load up on transfers. Memphis brought in four transfers in 2022 AAC player of the year Kendric Davis, former five-star recruit Emmanuel Akot and two three-star transfers in Keonte Kennedy and Elijah McCadden.
Last season, Memphis finished third in the AAC thanks in part to a three-game losing streak early on in conference play. Inconsistent play killed the Tigers although they were able to get it together late in the season. Can Memphis build on the late-season success that saw them nearly play spoiler to the Gonzaga Bulldogs in last year’s NCAA tournament, or will they stay inconsistent this season as well?
Potential Value of Cincinnati
Cincinnati’s first season under Wes Miller didn’t quite go as planned. Cincinnati looked good early and jumped out to a 5-1 record after beating #14 Illinois by 20 and then losing to #13 Arkansas by just six points. The Bearcats were ice cold to finish the season however winning just one of their last eight regular season games.
This season the Bearcats see all of their top three scorers returning in addition to a 41st-ranked recruiting class and 31st-ranked transfer class. While guard Mike Saunders did transfer to Utah, they added Landers Nolley from Memphis and Robert Phinisee from Indiana. With a year under his belt and more talent than last year, Cincinnati is a good bet to at least be among the best in the AAC.