Louisville vs. Villanova: NCAA Basketball Picks

PJ Laferla

Tuesday, January 22, 2013 4:19 PM GMT

Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2013 4:19 PM GMT

If you like Big East basketball, we have a good matchup slated for this evening, as the fifth ranked Louisville Cardinals go up against the Villanova Wildcats in what is expected to be a clash of bitter rivals. Which team are we picking to beat the betting odds?

Big East Preview: No. 5 Louisville at Villanova

The Louisville Cardinals (16-2 SU, 5-2 ATS away) will be on the road this evening, as they travel to Philadelphia for a matchup against one of their Big East rivals the Villanova Wildcats (11-7 SU, 4-3 ATS home) in a contest where both teams will be fighting for the victory, while also attempting to beat the college basketball odds.

Tip off in this Big East showdown is set for 8:00 PM EST from The Pavilion in Philadelphia, PA and can be seen live on television, with broadcast coverage provided by WHAS (Louisville) and PHL17 (Philadelphia).

It should come as no surprise that Louisville is heavily favored in this contest, as they are laying -11 ½ points on the road. If you are looking to add a play on the total to your sports picks, you will need to decide whether or not you will go over or under 135 ½ points.

Louisville Cardinals

The Cardinals got a small taste at what life is like as the number one ranked team in the nation, but it only lasted a week after their 11-game winning streak was snapped this past Saturday night. Louisville was handed a defeat at the hands of Syracuse, a game where they were listed as -6 ½ point favorites and lost outright by a score of 70-68.

The Cardinals are shooting 45.4% from the floor, which is translating to an average of 76.4 points game. However, even with its high scoring offense, Louisville has stayed under the posted total in quite a few games lately. In fact, they are under in 8 of their last 11 games played on the road and seven of ten that follow an ATS loss.

Covering the game line, however, has been favorable for the Cardinals. They are 19-8 ATS in their last 27 games overall, 6-2 in their last 8 following an ATS loss and 7-2 in their last nine versus Big East opponents.

Louisville has also covered the point spread in six of their last eight matchups against Villanova.

Villanova Wildcats

The Wildcats are struggling, having lost three games in a row coming into play tonight against the 5th ranked team in the nation.

In their most recent outing against Providence, they lost 69-66, falling short of covering the betting line as 2 ½ point underdogs.

Villanova really has had a tough time of it on offense this season. They are shooting just 40.6% from the field and averaging 69.2 points scored per contest. This could explain why 8 io their last 9 games overall had stayed under the posted total.

They have also been poor against the spread, covering the number in just 18 of their last 58 games overall, including 6 of 26 when playing at home.

[gameodds]14/218408/43/us[/gameodds]

Free Pick

I do not see Villanova hanging around in this game at all, as Louisville should run them off the floor from the opening tip off to the final buzzer. Expect Louisville to win this game by 20 points tonight.

NCAA Basketball Pick: Louisville -11 ½
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