College Football Picks: Louisville vs. South Florida

Jeff Grant

Friday, October 25, 2013 11:33 AM GMT

Charlie Strong’s squad heads south for Saturday’s NCAAF showdown against the South Florida Bulls. We need to review the betting odds to make sure we are on the right side for our sports picks.

The Louisville Cardinals ended their hopes of a perfect season with last week’s 38-35 defeat to the Central Florida Knights, upset as 14-point home ‘chalk' on most of the NCAAF betting odds boards.

Cardinals shocked in late surge 

Louisville blew a 21-point lead in last Friday’s second half, while a late exchange of touchdowns left the Cardinals on the shootout’s losing end. The Cardinals’ defense gave up 446 total yards, while both sides logged two turnovers. 

Cardinals quarterback Teddy Bridgewater threw for 341 yards, finding wide outs Eli Rogers and DeVante Parker for one touchdown each. Louisville’s Dominique Brown notched a season-high 88 rushing yards, reaching the end zone twice as part of 12 carries. 

The duel’s combined 73 points cashed OVER tickets by the third quarter, flying above the ‘total’ of 55 ½. Cardinals safety Calvin Pryor grabbed an interception for a second straight week, while mate James Quick returned a UCF fumble for a touchdown. 

Bulls cash in Connecticut 

South Florida went into its bye week with a second straight upset win, cashing as a four-point road dog in a 13-10 victory over the Connecticut Huskies. Bulls placekicker Marvin Kloss hit a deciding 44-yard field goal with four minutes remaining, moving to a 9-for-9 mark in his last five games. 

South Florida’s Bobby Eveld completed a sparse 8-for-28 passes under center, finishing with 106 yards through the air. Bulls running backs Darius Tice and Willie Davis united for 107 rushing yards on a combined 19 carries.

South Florida was flagged for seven penalties (58 yards), while its defense held UConn to a 6-for-18 mark in third-down conversions. The tight affair’s 23 points plunged below the ‘total’ of 40 ½, making the UNDER 4-1 in the Bulls’ last five matchups.

Back the UNDER in Tampa

Bet365 opened Louisville as a 19 ½-point road favorite, with early wagers on the Cardinals lifting the number to 20 ½. The ‘total’ was first posted at 46 ½, remaining unchanged after initial action was mixed. 

I am adding the UNDER in this contest to Saturday’s card of NCAAF picks, looking for some recent low-octane trends to continue here. 

Louisville has allowed a stingy 10 PPG in its two road spots, while the UNDER is 5-1-1 in the Cardinals’ last seven contests that came after a defeat. Cardinals mates Lorenzo Mauldin and Marcus Smith have united for 12 ½ sacks, ranking in the American Athletic Conference’s top three.

South Florida has seen the UNDER cash at 7-3 in its last 10 home dates, while the same wager has a 4-1 mark after the team’s last five spots that followed a bye week. The Bulls have played their share of close contests with Louisville, with the UNDER collecting at 3-2 in the last five meetings between the rivals. 

South Florida ranks last in the AAC for third down conversions, moving the sticks at a lowly 24.4 percent clip (21-for-86). Look for both sides to have a duel of field position here for your college football picks, cashing another UNDER ticket in the wager’s 6-1-1 mark in the Bulls’ last eight matchups against foes with winning records. 

NFL Pick: UNDER 46 ½ at Bet365