Lock Pittsburgh As Short Underdog Against Louisville With Your NCAA Basketball Picks

Joe Gavazzi

Wednesday, February 24, 2016 4:17 PM GMT

Against sport's supersition, my black cat will certainly be good luck for us today with our selection on the Pitt Panthers. See today’s NCAA basketball picks video to judge for yourself.

Louisville (-1-) at Pittsburgh 8:00 ET
The Louisville Cardinals travel to the Petersen Events Center in the Oakland section of Pittsburgh for an ACC rematch against the Pitt Panthers. The Pitino’s have gotten the best of the Dixon’s the last two years by margins of 13 and 12 (on this floor) last year and by a (59-41) count at the KFC Yum! Center on January 14th. In that matchup, the Cardinals’ defense forced 14 TOs and held the Panthers to just 29% shooting. I will favor the Panthers in this triple revenge setup at a home underdog price on the strong boards of the Petersen Events Center, where the Oakland Zoo will be in full throat.

Actually, the “Pete” has become somewhat less of an ally to the Panthers in recent seasons. The last 4 years, Pitt is 57-15 SU at home, including 14-3 SU this season. A closer inspection of that log shows us that 2 of those losses came in their only role of home dog. Defensively sound teams, Purdue, defeated Pitt (72-59) on December 1st and Virginia whipped the Panthers on this floor (64-50) on February 6th, there is certainly cause for concern based on those two foes. Working in the Panthers’ favor is the momentum of their (66-52) victory at Syracuse on Saturday.

That quality road victory and the attendant RPI of 35 has Pitt on the positive side of the Bubble as they enter this contest. As we noted earlier in the season, Pitt continues to be a solid fundamental team, under 13th year HC Dixon. Entering tonight’s clash, Pitt has a +8.5 rebound margin and an 18/11.7 TO/assist margin. It will be up to senior PG Robinson to keep the Panthers more focused on the job at hand than in the earlier loss. With the experienced leadership and scoring of Artis and Young, I believe the Panthers will be competitive tonight.

 

Betting Analysis
Louisville is 21-6 SU for the season, including 10-4 SU in ACC play. With a self-imposed ban for post-season play, including the upcoming CCT, the regular season crown is all that is left for Louisville. Yet, they still trail N. Carolina, whom they have already beaten by a full game and Miami, whom they have yet to play by a game in the win column. Certainly their goal in the next two weeks is clearly reachable! Perhaps no one in the country took better advantage of the grad transfer rule than did Pitino. Hurt by graduation at the guard slot, Pitino needed veteran leadership on the perimeter. Welcome his starting guard tandem of Lewis (Cleveland St.) and Lee (Drexel) who have been a lifesaver for Pitino. The Cards, however, have not been without issues. Those have come on the ACC road, where they are a shocking 0-6 ATS and have allowed an average of 72.5 PPG (compared to 56 PPG at home).

It is this hidden home/road dichotomy, along with Pitt’s revenge motive that leads us to the selection of these Cats as Dogs, as they get their revenge and solidify their NCAA standing. I invite you to put the NCAA basketball odds boards in your favor and join me in my NCAA basketball pick on the Pitt Panthers tonight! 

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NCAA Basketball Pick: Pittsburg Panthers +1.5
Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes