Virginia vs. Louisville Pick
Which power will emerge with a big ACC win when No. 6 Louisville plays host to No. 12 Virginia tonight at 7PM ET?
According to oddsmakers at Bovada.lv, Louisville is favored at home, as the Cardinals are getting odds of -4.5 points against Virginia. The over/under total for the contest is listed at 121.5 points. Virginia won and covered the spread in both meetings with Louisville last season. The Cavaliers are 3-1 against Louisville in ACC play.
Virginia is on a three-game win streak coming into tonight. The Cavaliers last won at Cal a week ago to move to 10-1 on the season and 6-3 against the spread. They have also covered the spread in three straight. Virginia has continued to be one of the top defensive basketball teams in the nation, as they are holding opponents to just 47.2 points per game and 34 percent shooting from the field. Virginia isn’t an overwhelming offense, putting up just 69.8 points per game, but they have good depth in their scoring. London Perrantes is the lone player averaging double figures, and that is at just 10 points per game. Eight other players average at least 5.6 points per game.
Louisville is on a six-game win streak to move to 11-1 on the season. The Cardinals are coming off a big 73-70 win at home over Kentucky a week ago and they have covered in their last four lined games. The Cardinals are 8-2 against the spread this year. Louisville has a very potent offense that is averaging 78 points per game, while the defense is giving up just 60.3 points per contest. Their 3-point defense is really strong, as opponents are shooting just 28.2 percent from the arc. Louisville also has some good balance in its scoring output as four players average 9.8 points or more while three others are at 6.3 points or higher. Quentin Snider is leading the way with 11.9 points per game while Donovan Mitchell is putting up 11.8 points and 5.6 rebounds per contest.
Virginia is an underdog for the first time this season, but it is a role that the Cavaliers are comfortable with. Virginia is 8-3 against the spread as an underdog since 2013 and 27-14 ATS as a dog since 2010. While Louisville is a talented team, I like the Cavs concentrated defensive effort. It tends to take opponents out of their game and allows Virginia to control the style of play.
COLLEGE BASKETBALL DAILY PREDICTION: VIRGINIA +4.5