Jacksonville St. vs. Louisville Pick
Can No. 2 Louisville handle being a lofty favorite when it takes on No. 15 Jacksonville State in the NCAA Tournament this afternoon at 2:45PM ET?
According to oddsmakers at BetDSI, Louisville is heavily favored in this game, as the Cardinals are getting odds of -19.5 points against Jacksonville State. The over/under total for the game is listed at 134 points. These two actually met in 2014 with Louisville picking up an 88-39 victory. This game will take part in the Midwest Region and air on CBS from Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Some were surprised to see Louisville as a No. 2 seed after the Cardinals lost three of their last five games to fall to 24-8 on the season. However, they did go 12-6 in the highly-competitive ACC. They also were 17-12-1 against the spread on the season despite going just 1-5 ATS in their last six. Louisville is averaging 77.5 points per game on offense while giving up only 65.8 defensively. The team has been led by Donovan Mitchell, who is averaging 15.7 points and 4.6 rebounds per game while Quentin Snider adds 12.7 points and 4.1 assists per contest.
Jacksonville State has won four straight entering this weekend and the Gamecocks won the Ohio Valley Conference tournament to win the automatic bid. They are 20-14 overall and 17-12 against the spread this season, including 15-6 ATS away from home. The Gamecocks only average 69 points per game on offense, but allow just 68.2 per game on defense. Four players average double figures in scoring. Malcom Drumwright is leading the way at 12.6 points per game while Norbertas Giga adds 10.4 points and 8.1 rebounds per contest.
Louisville certainly hasn’t been playing well, but the Cardinals will welcome the break from ACC competition today. Jacksonville State is a nice story, but the Gamecocks really got hammered in non-conference games against fellow NCAA Tournament teams. While the Louisville defense has been shaky as of late, the offense has still been productive. Today, the defense should get back on track while the offense continues to hit shots.
MARCH MADNESS PREDICTION: LOUISVILLE -19.5