Louisville may be 12-1 on this NCAABasketball season, but it's also been a bad bet, going just 3-7-2 ATS. The Cardinals are double-digit favorites on the road for Sunday night's game at Wake Forest.
Cardinals-Deacons Betting Odds
Most books we checked with opened this game with Louisville favored by 12.5 points, and that spread was holding steady in the early betting.
Cardinals-Deacons: The Match-Up
Louisville returned four starters this season from a team that won 31 games last year and reached the Sweet 16 of the NCAA tournament. The Cardinals are now off to a 12-1 start to this season as they head into their first ACC slate.
Louisville started 11-0 this year, with a 3-0 run against the Big Ten, beating Minnesota, Ohio State and Indiana, covering at -9 against the Gophers, pushing at -9 against the Buckeyes and covering at -12 against the Hoosiers. The Cardinals then suffered their only defeat thus far, at the hands of rival Kentucky, losing 58-50, missing on the cover as five-point home dogs. Louisville shot just 26 percent from the field against the top-ranked Wildcats, made just three of 14 shots from beyond the arc and got outrebounded by a 46-33 margin.
Last time out, last Tuesday, the Cardinals returned to their winning ways, beating Long Beach State 63-48, but coming up short on the cover as 19-point favorites. Louisville led by 22 with about 15 minutes to go in the game, but allowed the 49ers to stick around just enough to miss out on the cash. The Cardinals shot 51 percent from the floor, and held LBS to just 36 percent shooting.
Wake Forest returned three starters from a team that won 17 games last year, and missed the NCAA tournament for the third straight season. New head coach Danny Manning – yeah, that Danny Manning – has hopes of a quick return to the Big Dance, but that probably won't happen for the Deacons this season.
Wake started 2-0 this season, then lost two in a row, including a 30-point flop at Arkansas. The Deacs then won two more in a row, but lost three straight, including a 15-point loss to Minnesota and a 13-point defeat at North Carolina State. Wake then beat Samford, lost at Florida, but has since won three in a row, after beating Princeton New Year's Eve 80-66.
The Demon Deacons missed on the spread as five-point dogs against the Gophers, and as nine-point dogs against the Wolfpack, but covered as 14-point dogs against the Gators, won outright as six-point dogs at Richmond and covered as five-point favorites against the Tigers.
Wake trailed early against Princeton, but took the lead for good with a 9-0 midway through the first half. The Deacons led by 18 with about 11 minutes to go, allowed the Tigers to get within seven, but closed the door from there, securing the cash.
Wake only shot 43 percent from the floor last Wednesday, but hit 10 of 23 shots from beyond the arc, and won the battle on the boards by a 45-27 margin.
These two teams have no recent history, but are now ACC rivals.
In games against their one common opponent this season, Minnesota, Louisville jumped out to an early lead and beat the Gophers by 13, while Wake Forest let a close game get away in the second half in a 15-point defeat.
Cardinals-Deacons Key Numbers
Louisville is shooting just 43 percent from the floor this season, just 29 percent from 3-point land and just 65 percent from the FT line. At the moment the Cardinals are not a very good shooting team. At the other end of the court, though, Louisville is holding opponents to 54 points per game and 35 percent FG shooting, both figures which rank in the top ten in the country.
Wake Forest is having its own problems throwing the ball in the hole, shooting just 42 percent from the field, 34 percent from long range and 65 percent from the line. The Deacons are also holding opponents to 43 percent FG shooting.
Cardinals-Deacons Betting Trends
Louisville is 4-5 on the OVER/UNDERS this season, as Cardinals games have averaged 128 points.
Wake Forest is 5-2 on the totals, as Deacons games have averaged 137 points.
Louisville is 2-6 ATS this season as a double-digit favorite.
Wake Forest is 1-1 ATS as a double-digit dog in NCAA Basketball Odds.
Cardinals-Deacons Free Pick
Louisville outclasses Wake Forest, and is likely to win this game. But the Cardinals are not the most adept team around at putting the ball in the hole. In fact, the way both these teams shoot, this one could turn ugly. And if that happens it might be handy to have a dozen points in our pocket. So we'll go with the home dog in this spot.
Free College Basketball Pick: Wake Forest +12.5 at Pinnacle