NCAA Basketball Pick: Louisville vs. Georgia Tech

Darin Zank

Monday, February 23, 2015 1:12 PM UTC

Monday, Feb. 23, 2015 1:12 PM UTC

Louisville is suddenly an iffy betting proposition, losing three games in a row against the spreads, recently kicking one of its better players off the team. The Cardinals are short favorites on the road at struggling Georgia Tech Monday night.

Cardinals-Yellow Jackets Betting Odds
Some books we checked with opened this game with Louisville at -4, while others lined Tech as high as +6. As of early Monday morning the Cardinals could be found at -4.5 at some NCAA basketball odds, while the Jackets could be gotten at +5.5 at others.

Those who believe Georgia Tech might take this game outright could get +170 on the moneyline at BetOnline.

Cardinals-Wreck: The Situation
The Cardinals are almost on the verge of imploding. They're just 2-3 both SU and ATS over their last five games, and they just kicked one of their key cogs off the team. Louisville has already done enough to reach the NCAA tournament, but suddenly its prospects for the tournament are up for debate.

The Cardinals just nipped Miami Saturday 55-53, losing ATS as eight-point favorites. Louisville fell down by 13 right out of the gate, trailed by 10 at the half, and never took the lead for good until less than a minute remained.

The Cardinals shot just 34 percent from the floor, but held the Hurricanes to 38 percent.

Just before that Louisville lost at Syracuse 69-59, and just before that it got upset at home by North Carolina State 74-65. So the Cardinals are 0-3 ATS over their last three games.

Nonetheless, at 21-6 overall and 9-5 in conference play Louisville is tied for fourth place in the ACC with North Carolina, and will play in the NCAA tournament for the ninth-straight season.

Georgia Tech, after a somewhat promising start to this season, has gone in the tank, losing 12 of its first 15 ACC games, and three of its last four, after getting roasted Saturday at North Carolina 89-60. The Yellow Jackets trailed by 14 at the half Saturday, and later by 32, coming up completely empty ATS as 11-point dogs.

The Wreck shot just 38 percent from the field for the game, while allowing the Heels to shoot an nearly uncontested 62 percent.

Just before that Tech beat Clemson 63-52; but before that it lost at home to Florida State, and before that it lost at Virginia Tech. And neither of those teams is going anywhere this season.

At 12-15 overall, 3-12 in the ACC Georgia Tech is going to end up worse than last season, when it went 16-17 and finished in 11th place in the conference.

This is the first meeting between these new conference rivals since Louisville beat Tech in the 2005 NCAA tournament.

By the Numbers
Louisville is shooting just 43 percent from the floor this season, just 30 percent from the 3-point line and 67 percent from the free-throw line. But defensively the Cardinals are holding opponents to just 38 percent shooting, which ranks in the top 10 in the country.

Georgia Tech is shooting just 41 percent from the field, just 28 percent from 3-point range and 66 percent from the line, while allowing foes to shoot 44 percent.

Cardinals-Wreck Betting Trends
Louisville is 10-13 on the OVER/UNDERS this season, as Cardinals games have averaged 130 points.

Georgia Tech is 12-10 on the totals, as Wreck games have averaged 128 points. However, the Yellow Jackets have played four UNDERS in their last five games, mainly because they've been having troubles putting the ball in the hole.

Personnel Update
Louisville just dismissed G Chris Jones (14 points, two steals PG this season) from the team for unspecified reasons. He just scored 17 points in Saturday's two-point victory over Miami, so our guess is the Cardinals might miss him.

Cardinals-Wreck Free Pick
Louisville will probably survive losing Jones, for the most part, but at the moment we're going to play 'wait and see' with the Cardinals. On the other side of this match-up we're almost looking for excuses to take Georgia Tech in this spot; unfortunately, they haven't shown us much more than the ability to lose close games. So instead of playing the spread on this game, we're looking at those shooting statistics and thinking “UNDER” for our  college basketball picks.

Free College Basketball Pick: UNDER 123.5 at Bookmaker

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