Pick Louisville Over Minnesota in Father-Son NCAAB Matchup

Jeff Grant

Friday, November 14, 2014 4:20 PM GMT

Friday, Nov. 14, 2014 4:20 PM GMT

Rick and Richard Pitino will take part in a father-son coaching matchup in Puerto Rico Friday, which makes Louisville the college basketball pick over Minnesota.

A Big Opener 
Minnesota kicks off its 2014-15 campaign in the Armed Forces Classic at the US Air Base Borinquen, as it looks to build off a school-record 25-win season and NIT championship. The Golden Gophers are opening a season away from home for the first time since 1994, which is important to consider when looking over the NCAA basketball betting lines, as they welcome back 63 percent of their scoring and 71 percent of their rebounding. It’s important to point out that the school is 8-15 SU and 11-12 ATS as underdogs in its last 23 opportunities.

 

Season Opener
Louisville has won 19 of its last 21 season openers, which can’t be ignored when making your college basketball picks, while Rick Pitino has put together a 25-3 SU mark in that situation over the course of his career. The Cardinals are one of just eight programs to have won 20 or more games in each of the last 12 seasons, as they prepare to be led by junior forward Montrezl Harrell, who was named to the AP All-America team.

Over the last two-plus seasons, the squad is 18-3 SU and 13-8 ATS on a neutral floor, with the OVER going 15-5 in that situation.

Experienced Backcourt

The Golden Gophers starting backcourt is comprised of a pair of senior guards in Andre Hollins and DeAndre Mathieu, as they averaged 13.6 and 12.0 points respectively a year ago. Both were All-Big Ten Conference honorable mention honorees in 2013-14, and will need to play great in this high-profile matchup against Louisville’s defensive pressure for 40 minutes.

Sideline Battle
Friday’s game will mark the 18th time a father-son coaching matchup has occurred in major college basketball, with Dad proving victorious in 15 of the previous 17 occasions.

Rick tallied a 79-55 over the FIU Panthers in 2012—an opponent that was coached by his son Richard at the time.

Prediction
I’m going to recommend that readers back the Cardinals as one of their top college basketball picks heading into the weekend, as they’ve gone 4-1 SUATS as neutral court favorites of 3.5 to 6 points in their last five opportunities.

 

NCAAB Pick: Louisville Cardinals -6 at Pinnacle

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