Louisville -12.5 vs. Missouri State for NCAA Basketball Picks

Jeff Grant

Tuesday, December 17, 2013 1:55 PM GMT

Tuesday, Dec. 17, 2013 1:55 PM GMT

The Louisville Cardinals love to pressure the basketball on the defensive end for 40 minutes, which will lead to major problems for the Missouri State Bears Tuesday night. Let’s take a closer look at the college basketball odds for this non-conference affair.

Facing a top defense

Missouri State has compiled an 8-1 SU record through nine games of the 2013-14 campaign, but its only loss came against one of the top defensive teams in the country.

The Bears dropped an 83-63 decision to the Virginia Cavaliers as 11.5-point neutral-site underdogs in the NCAA basketball odds on Nov. 30, while going OVER the betting total of 126.5.

Over the last two-plus seasons, the program is 6-25 SU and 12-16 ATS versus teams that allow 64 or fewer points per game.

Closing things out at home

Louisville will try to close out its five-game homestand with a perfect 5-0 record, as it comes off a 79-63 victory over Western Kentucky as 21.5-point favorites last Saturday, while going OVER the betting total of 133.5.

The Cardinals won’t play another game at this venue until Jan. 9, 2014—a span of 23 days.

Since the 2011-12 campaign, the team is 7-0 SU and 4-3 ATS as home favorites of 18.5 to 24 points.

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Taking care of the basketball

College basketball handicappers will definitely have an interest of backing the Bears, considering they rank 12th in the country in averaging just 9.9 turnovers per game—a statistical category led by the Cardinals at this stage of the season.

Missouri State returned nine lettermen and five starters from last year’s team, while it shares the national lead with two other teams in having 12 players that average 10 minutes or more of playing time per game.

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Offensive firepower

The Cardinals are averaging 85.9 points per game, which is just a tick shy of their school-record in that particular category (86.0 ppg).

Senior guard Russ Smith is the main player to watch on the offensive end, as he’s pouring in 17.2 points per game, while the team has shot 50 percent of higher from the floor in five contests.

Prediction

I’m going to recommend that readers add the Cardinals the their NCAA basketball picks, as the Bears have failed to cover this type of number when committing 13 or more turnovers dating back to last season.

College Basketball Pick:  Louisville Cardinals -21.5

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