Bet Virginia +7.0 Over Louisville for NCAAF Pick 9/13

Ross Benjamin

Tuesday, September 9, 2014 1:11 PM GMT

This handicapper’s college football picks so far this season have gone 7-1 right here at SBR. Find out what he recommends for Saturday’s Louisville vs. Virginia game. 

Let the ACC Wars Heat Up
The Virginia Cavaliers will host the Louisville Cardinals on Saturday at Scott Stadium in Charlottesville with the opening kickoff slated for 12:30 PM ET. According to College Football odds, Louisville is a 7.0 point road favorite.

 

Back in the Saddle for Bobby Petrino
The Louisville Cardinals picked up right where they left off under newly appointed head coach Bobby Petrino. The Cardinals have started the season 2-0, and have now won 16 of their last 17-games. Although Petrino begins his 5th season as the Cardinals head coach, this is his 2nd tenure. He left the Louisville program to accept the head coaching position with the Atlanta Falcons of the NFL. Since then, he made stops at Arkansas, then Western Kentucky, and came full circle back to Louisville in 2014. Petrino has a tremendous 43-9 career record at Louisville, and that includes a very profitable 32-20 ATS.

 

Cardinals Testing the ACC Waters
After starting the season on Labor Day night with an impressive 31-13 win over the Miami Hurricanes in their ACC (Atlantic Coast Conference) debut, they trounced Murray St. 66-21 last Saturday, and covered as a 35.0 point favorite. In typical Louisville fashion, they’ve averaged 48.5 points, and 471 yards of total offense in their first 2-games. This will be their first road test of the season. Louisville went a very good 19-7 ATS on the road in the last 4-seasons under the watchful eye of former head coach Charlie Strong.

 

London on the Hot Seat
Before making your College Football Picks, understand that it’s entirely possible that this is a make or break season for Virginia head coach Mike London. He’s now in his 5th season with the Cavaliers program, and has gone a dismal 19-32. After improving to 8-5 in 2011, which included a bowl game appearance, the Cavaliers have regressed to 6-18 combined over the past 2-seasons. They’ve also gone a terrible 8-18 ATS at home under London, and that’s despite being 2-0 ATS in Charlottesville this season.

 

Showing Improvement
Virginia gave highly ranked UCLA all they can handle in the season opener before falling 28-20, easily covering as a 19.0 point home underdog. Last week they took their frustrations out on a FCS opponent, thrashing the Richmond Spiders 45-13, comfortably covering as a 14.5 point favorite. The Cardinals forced 7 Richmond turnovers, and are now a +4 turnover differential after 2-games. If they’re to have any chance versus Louisville on Saturday, winning the turnover battle is imperative. The Cavaliers defense has been stout against the run during the first 2-games of 2014. That will be another key point of emphasis when facing a Louisville team that racked up 455-yards on the ground in their first 2-games.

 

Final Analysis
This will be the Cavaliers ACC opening game, and one they’re surely capable of staying competitive in. This appears to me as a potential flat spot for Louisville. As a matter of fact, conference road favorites coming off 2 home favorite ATS wins in a row, the last of which was a non-conference game, versus an opponent coming off a win, has gone a dismal 4-17 ATS since 1995. This one will go down to the wire, and be much closer than people may think.

Free College Football Pick: Virginia +7.0 over Louisville at 5Dimes Sportsbook

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