Can Louisville Pull Another Big Upset Over The Tar Heels?

Thursday, March 14, 2019 5:43 PM UTC

Thursday, Mar. 14, 2019 5:43 PM UTC

These two teams know each other quite well and there won’t be any surprises in-game strategy between these two coaches.

Louisville Cardinals (20-12, 10-8 ACC) vs North Carolina Tarheels (26-5, 16-2 ACC)

ACC Conference Tournament – Second Round – Charlotte, NC

Thursday, March 14, 2019, 7:00 PM EST

Free NCAAB Pick: UNC -7

Best Line Offered: 5Dimes

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UNC will look to push the ball on every possession keeping the Cardinals on their heels and wearing them down with the fast pace of play. Louisville will be looking to pound the paint in the half-court set looking to get 1 or more UNC players in early foul trouble.

In game 1 between these two teams this season, the Cardinals posted one of the biggest upsets in the ACC. Installed as 11-point dogs they went into Chapel Hill and destroyed UNC 83-72 on January 12. In the rematch, UNC exacted their revenge and defeated the Cardinals 79-69 installed as 1.5-point dogs. Both games went ‘under’ the posted totals of 155.5 points in Game 1 and 158 points in Game 2 by 10-points each. Not surprising to see this game’s total discounted to the 150-point level based on these two game results and that this game is in the conference tournament.

For this game, my machine learning and algorithm tools recommend a play on UNC, who possess significant advantages at both ends of the court. UNC ranks 3rd nationally scoring 86.7 points per game (PPG), 10th with a 13.6 average scoring margin, 2nd averaging 19.3 assists per game (APG), BEST averaging 44.0 rebounds per game (RPG), 6th with a 0.621 assist to field goal made ratio (A-FGM), and 12th with a 1.441 assist-to-turnover ratio (ATR). By contrast, Louisville ranks 97th averaging 74.7 PPG, 45th with a 7.3 scoring margin, 169th averaging just 13.2 APG, 35th averaging 38.3 RPG, 141st with a 0.529 A-FGM, and 130th with a 1.376 ATR. To be clear, I am not suggesting that Louisville is a poor team, but rather that UNC is a superior team across the board when compared to Louisville.

I have been able to run the algorithms through the massive NCAAM database and have gathered meaningful game intelligence results. This situational query has earned a 40-13 ATS record for 76% winners since 1996. Play against an underdog (Cardinals) after the 15th game of the season that have a season to date shooting average between 42.5 and 45% and is now facing a team (UNC) that has a strong defensive presence with a season to date average of average of 40 to 42.5% opponent shooting and after allowing a shooting percentage of 28% or less.

Notre Dame shot just 26% from the field in their loss to Louisville last night. Louisville did play excellent defense, but it was also noticeable that Notre Dame just did not make open shots, missed layups, and shot poorly from beyond the arc. So, based on the 133-point total, Notre Dame was expected to score 63 points and Louisville 70 points. Notre Dame under-performed this projection by 10-points, and teams that have held an opponent to 10 or fewer points below the expected point total based on the total line have done well in the next game. In fact, Louisville is just 3-9 ATS for only 33% winners in this role.

This database situational query supports UNC and has earned a 69-35 ATS record for 66% winners since the start of the 2014season. The query instructs us to play on neutral court teams as a favorite or pick and has ripped off three straight games scoring 75 or more points and involves a game with both teams allowing a season to date average of 67 to 74 opponent points.

By substituting the query parameter site location and replace it with the parameter tournament and set it to Conference Tournament, produces similar results with a 33-19-1 ATS record good for 64% winners with an average betting line of a 7-point favorite.

From the machine learning side of this game, UNC is projected to score 81 or more points, have more assists than turnovers, and have a minimum of 14 offensive boards. In games where UNC have met or exceeded these projections, they have earned a 56-1 SU record winning the game by an average of 30.2 points and a 38-8-1 ATS mark good for 83% winners and has covered the spread by an average of 10.9 points. Take UNC

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