Hump Day (Under)Dogs: Louisville & Indiana

Doug Upstone

Wednesday, January 24, 2018 3:49 PM UTC

Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2018 3:49 PM UTC

It is Wednesday and if you are a regular reader here at SBR Forum, you know what that means: It is time for the dogs to eat -- underdogs in college basketball. It's two big-name schools this week.

Once again, I have a pair of Hump Day pooches for college basketball picks that I am convinced they will cover the spread. My season record in this specific area is 12-6 and, no, I will not be taking an Atlantic 10 team for a fourth straight week, though one was on the short list. Instead, I will adventure into the ACC and Big Ten against the college basketball odds.

Louisville Cardinals at Miami HurricanesFree Basketball Pick: LouisvilleBest Line Offered: 5Dimes

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It was a tumultuous off-season for Louisville (15-4, 8-8-1 ATS) with the firing of Rick Pitino and many wondered if the Cardinals program would go off the rails. The hiring of David Padgett was viewed as a positive, but coaching Louisville in a high-profile league like the ACC is a lot to ask of anyone just thrown into a nasty situation. After losing 90-61 to in-state rival Kentucky, the mood was somber at the 'Ville.

However, Padgett made a few modifications to his team, and Louisville has been playing smart, patient basketball and is in second place in the ACC with a 5-1 record. Though just an average shooting team at 45.3 percent, the Cards put up 77.8 points a game and really get after the opposition defensively, holding them to 38.6 percent shooting.

Miami (14-4, 7-5-1 ATS) is a 3.5-point home favorite, yet is only 2-3 SU and ATS in recent conference games and its youth is showing. The Canes are either not shooting well in games or lacking the defensive intensity in others.

Expect Louisville to keep this close and just might win outright.

Indiana Hoosiers at Illinois Fighting IlliniFree Basketball Pick: IndianaBest Line Offered: Bovada

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Indiana (12-8, 10-8-2 ATS) has suffered a vast array of injuries, yet first-year coach Archie Miller has kept the team together. With the Big Ten a more watered-down league this season, the Hoosiers are doing better than anticipated, being in 5th place with a 5-3 record.

Illinois' Brad Underwood is another new head coach in the Big Ten, and though this is his proclaimed "dream job" he has come into a less than dreamy situation. The previous regime did not recruit well, and Illinois (10-11, 8-9-1 ATS) is suffering because of it, being winless in conference play at 0-8 (4-4 ATS). All the losing seems to have affected the team, and its defense is being shredded for 51.5 percent shooting in last six contests.

At this juncture, the Illini are not a confident group and NCAAB oddsmakers have them as only a 2-point favorite. If Indiana keeps this close, it can win at the end vs. a shaky Illinois squad.

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