NCAA Basketball Picks: Cincinnati vs. Louisville

Jeff Grant

Monday, March 4, 2013 1:55 PM GMT

Monday, Mar. 4, 2013 1:55 PM GMT

The Louisville Cardinals have won five consecutive games since playing in the longest game in Big East Conference regular-season history, as they prepare to host the Cincinnati Bearcats Monday night.

Let’s take a closer look at the College Basketball betting odds for this high-profile affair that’s scheduled to tipoff at 7:00 p.m. ET on ESPN.

Much-needed victory

Cincinnati snapped a three-game losing streak last time out, as it captured a 61-56 victory over the Connecticut Huskies as 7.5-point home favorites Saturday, while going UNDER the total for the ninth time in its last 11 opportunities.

The Bearcats are 10-4 straight up (SU) and 9-5 against the spread (ATS) in March the last two-plus seasons.

Streaking

Louisville has put together a five-game winning streak since losing a 104-101 decision to the Notre Dame Fighting Irish in five overtimes, which includes a 58-53 triumph over the Syracuse Orange as 1.5-point road underdogs Saturday.

The Cardinals are 12-5 SU and 13-3-1 ATS in March the last two-plus campaigns, while the UNDER is 13-4 in that situation.

Revenge

Few teams will ever land in a more difficult situational spot than Louisville Monday, which is important to consider when making your sports picks tonight, as it faces Cincinnati for the only time during the regular season.

The Cardinals will be facing a revenge-minded Bearcats’ squad, as they came away with a 50-44 victory as 3.5-point neutral-site favorites in last year’s Big East title game, while they look dead ahead to hosting the Fighting Irish.

Of course, the program just exacted revenge from an earlier loss to Syracuse, which makes this a difficult situation for longtime coach Rick Pitino.

Making things Wright

The Bearcats have a great chance of improving to 5-1 ATS in their last six meetings with the Cardinals, but it really depends on the play of senior guard Cashmere Wright, who is averaging 8.2 points on 22.9 percent shooting over his last 10 games.

Wright scored a combined 38 points on 15 of 31 shooting in two games versus Louisville a year ago.  He teams up with Sean Kilpatrick and Cashmere Wright to account for 59.7 percent of the team’s scoring.

[gameodds]14/222951/43/us[/gameodds]

Prediction

I’m going to recommend that readers back the Bearcats as one of their NCAA basketball picks Monday, but definitely don’t go overboard in this spot.  Wright simply hasn’t been the same since spraining his right knee in January—there’s just no way I can back the Cardinals in this spot.

NCAA Basketball Pick:  Cincinnati Bearcats +10 at 5Dimes

comment here