Conference Covers: Louisville, South Carolina to Hang Close Tuesday

Charles Stark

Monday, January 15, 2018 10:31 PM UTC

Monday, Jan. 15, 2018 10:31 PM UTC

The two big basketball conferences, the ACC and SEC, are the focus for Tuesday's picks. Is there value in taking the underdogs in two games that should go down to the wire?

Tuesday College Basketball: Louisville vs. Notre Dame

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Free NCAAB Pick: Louisville +3Best Line Offered: Pinnacle

Louisville is starting to play some better basketball, coming off a nice upset at Florida State and then handling Virginia Tech at home. They are a small +3 underdog on the NCAAB odds board for this game, and in my NCAAB picks I will take the points and look for them to win this game straight up. Notre Dame has some serious injury problems, and although they battled North Carolina, I think they will struggle in this spot. Bonzie Colson is out -- he's a big loss -- and guard Matt Farrell might not play. Louisville is 9-2 since the beginning of December, their only losses coming at Clemson and Kentucky. What I like in this matchup is the fact that Louisville is playing tremendous defense, currently ranking 11th in the country in both opponent shooting efficiency and opponent shooting percentage. Although this game is at Notre Dame, I think Louisville has a better than good chance to win. Look for this game to go down to the final shot.

Tuesday College Basketball: Kentucky vs. South Carolina

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Free NCAAB Pick: South Carolina +2.5Best Line Offered: Bookmaker

Considering that South Carolina is not even close to where they were last year as a Final Four team, I’m surprised this line is so small on the NCAAB odds board. Kentucky comes in as a -2.5 favorite, but in my NCAAB picks I will take South Carolina at home plus the points. This is still a very well-coached team and I like how they match up with Kentucky across the board. Although their record might not show it, South Carolina is playing solid defense. The Gamecocks are allowing opponents to shoot just 42 percent from the floor, and they rank 20th in the country by allowing just 22 field goals made per game. On the other side of the ball they have struggled, shooting at a 41.2-percent clip. However, that jumps to more than 44 percent at home, where all of their offensive statistics jump up just a click. Kentucky is still Kentucky and they have been good on both sides of the ball, shooting 48.8 percent and allowing just 41 percent from their opponents. Still, South Carolina is the type of team that can wear on you, and they simply are not easy to beat at home.

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