NCAA Basketball Picks: Wichita State vs. Louisville

Jeff Grant

Monday, April 1, 2013 6:29 PM GMT

The Louisville Cardinals have won 14 games in a row, as they prepare to face the Wichita State Shockers in their 10th NCAA Final Four as a program. Where does the best value lie for our sports picks in this one?


Let’s take a closer look at the College basketball odds for this high-profile affair, with Saturday’s opening tip scheduled for 6:09 p.m. ET on CBS.

Let SBR be your 2013 NCAA Tournament betting headquarters.

Shocking the world

Wichita State has covered the spread in all four of its 2013 NCAA Tournament games thus far, which includes a 70-66 victory over the Ohio State Buckeyes as 4.5-point underdogs last Saturday, while the OVER is 3-1 in those contests.

The Shockers have set a new school record for wins in a season, as they advance to their first Final Four since 1965. 

On a roll

There’s no question that Louisville will be the betting favorite to win the tournament when the futures market reopens, as it has won 14 games in a row, including a dominating 85-63 victory over the Duke Blue Devils as 3.5-point favorites Sunday.

The Cardinals have gone OVER the total in eight consecutive contests—a streak that dates back to their Big East Conference regular-season finale against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish on March 9.

Fast starts

College basketball handicappers will find that the Shockers have gotten off to great starts in all four NCAA tournament games thus far, as they’ve outscored their opponents by a combined 135-96 margin.

It’s also important to note that the Cardinals have been just as dominant in the first 20 minutes in the Big Dance, as they’ll head to Atlanta with a plus 47-point margin over foes in that particular category.

Louisville is 29-0 this season when leading at the break, which can’t be ignored when a second-half line is established in the market Saturday night.

Taking care of business

The Cardinals are 45-8 all-time as the higher seed in NCAA Tournament games, as they prepare to face the last true Cinderella that remains in the field.  Louisville improved its record to 10-2 as a No. 1 seed with Sunday’s victory over Duke.

In 11 games as favorites of 9.5 to 12 points during the 2012-13 campaign, the program has compiled a 8-3 against-the-spread record, but suffered a spread loss in its last opportunity in that situation with a 77-69 victory over Oregon when laying 11 points.

[gameodds]14/225906/43/us[/gameodds]

Prediction 

I’m going to recommend that readers back the Shockers as one of their NCAA Basketball picks, as they’ll have nearly a full week to prepare for one of the more dominating defenses in college basketball, while the Cardinals may be spent emotionally after knocking off the Blue Devils.

NCAA Basketball Pick:  Wichita State Shockers +10.5 at BetOnline