Louisville vs. Duke Betting Strategy
A hot Duke team will take on a Louisville squad coming off an ugly loss to UNC. That said, is it time to fade the Blue Devils ahead of tonight's 9:00 p.m. ET tip-off?
Who Oddsmakers Like: According to oddsmakers from online sports book YouWager, the Blue Devils are now 11.5-point home favorites to beat the Cardinals, who opened as either 11.5 or 12-point road underdogs depending on the sports book. As for the total, the number hit the board at 157 but was bet all the way down to 154.
Who Public Bettors Like: As of early Wednesday afternoon, 61% of the betting tickets wagered at online sportsbooks are on the Blue Devils but 56% of the money is on the Cardinals. While we haven't seen any reverse line movement as of yet, this matchup could provide us with a public vs. sharps opportunity.
Our Betting Strategy: Duke has won three straight games despite missing big man Marvin Bagley, who is doubtful to play tonight versus Louisville. The good news for the Blue Devils is that their defense has actually improved with him off the court.
The bad news is that the team scored just 66 points against a banged-up Clemson squad on Sunday and could miss his presence again tonight. Louisville got rolled by UNC on Saturday but the Tar Heels are one of the hottest ranked teams in the nation right now. Throw out that game and the Cardinals have been sound defensively.
So where's the value tonight? Louisville was just forced to vacate its 2013-14 national championship on Tuesday but if you're banking on the Cardinals to come out flat because of that isn't a sound strategy. None of the players that will suit up in a Louisville uniform tonight were with the program at that time. Thus, I doubt the NCAA's decision will have a bearing on tonight's game.
For me, the best value is to take the Cardinals in the first half and bank on an overconfident Blue Devils team to go threw the motions early. Either that, or bet Louisville up to +12 for the game and bet against public perception that Duke is currently an unstoppable force that will blow away a Cardinals team that was just shellacked by UNC. Either way, I see value in the road underdog tonight.