Tale of the Tape
According to NCAA basketball odds Louisville is a 5.0 point favorite and the posted total is 138.5. These teams met once already this season with Kentucky winning 73-66 at home, and covering as a 1.5 point underdog. The underdog has covered the last 5 meetings between these teams. These teams also met in the 2012 “Final Four” at New Orleans with Kentucky winning 69-61 but failing to cover as an 8.5 point favorite.
Basketball Royalty Back in the Spotlight
The Kentucky Wildcats were actually considered a bubble team just a few weeks ago, and now they find themselves in the “Sweet 16”. They’re coming off what arguably was the most entertaining game of the tournament on Sunday in a 78-76 win over previously unbeaten Wichita State. One of the concerns heading into the NCAA Tournament for Kentucky was some prolonged shooting woes they had suffered during the final month of the season. That concern was still apparent in the 2nd round 56-49 win over Kansas State when they shot just 38% from the field. However, they shot superbly in the upset win over the #1 seed in the Midwest connecting on a blistering hot 54% of their field goal tries while snapping the Shockers 35-game winning streak. The Wildcats have been dominant on the boards over their last 5-games. Kentucky has a huge +10.4 rebound per game differential in those 5 contests.
The defending national champion Louisville Cardinals enters the “Sweet 16” red-hot, and they look to be peaking at the most opportune time. The Cardinals have won their last 7, 14 of the last 15, and 18 of the last 20-games. As if they needed extra incentive, they certainly received it when the NCAA Tournament committee seeded the 4th in the toughest region of the four. They were a bit lackluster in their 2nd round win over the #13 seed Manhattan Jaspers before using a late surge to advance in a 71-64 victory. There was much less drama in their 3rd round 66-51 win over the #5 seed St. Louis Billikens. The Cardinals were pretty much in control of that contest from start to finish. Louisville has been outstanding defensively in the 2 wins in the NCAA Tournament forcing 33 turnovers, while holding opponents to an average of 57.5 points, and have held a combined 73-53 rebounding advantage.
NCAA Betting System
Any neutral court team (Louisville) that’s beat the spread by a combined 30-points or more in their last 5-games, versus an opponent that’s gone over the total by a combined 48-points or more in their last 10-games, has seen 76 of those 117-games (65%) go under the total in the last 17 seasons.
Free Pick: Kentucky/Louisville to go under the total of 138.5[gameodds]14/262648/?r-1=43-19-349/us[/gameodds]