Revenge Factors Make Pitt +7.5 Our NCAA Basketball Pick vs. Louisville

Joe Gavazzi

Thursday, January 14, 2016 2:47 PM UTC

Thursday, Jan. 14, 2016 2:47 PM UTC

The Pittsburgh Panthers visit Louisville this evening for a 9:00 ET tipoff against the Cardinals. Join us inside as we preview our free NCAA basketbal pick for tonight.

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NCAA Basketball Pick: Pitt +7.5
Best Line Offered: at Bet365


Pittsburgh vs. Louisville 9:00PM ET
While many will be opting for a bounce back by the Cards, as the team who is trailing in the standings, we will confidently line up with the under the radar underdog, Pitt Panthers in a game that has a perception/reality feel to it!  


Betting Preview
There was legitimate concern that Louisville’s run of excellence would decline this year with just 2 returning starters from a 27-9 SU team that went to the Elite 8 last year. But, savvy veteran 15th year Louisville HC Pitino has taken advantage of the graduate transfer rule more than any other coach in college basketball. Enter his starting guard tandem of Trey Lewis and Damian Lee.  Each of these outstanding guards has 4 years of experience. Trey Lewis starred at Cleveland St., averaging 16 PPG LY and feature both mental and physical toughness. Lee toiled at Drexel, where he was the “main man” in the Dragons’ offense, averaging 21 PPG.  Each of these quality guards are now thriving again this season in Pitino’s 94-foot game. The Cardinals broke from the gate at 12-0 SU, but have since lost 2 of their most recent 4 games vs. Kentucky and their most recent contest at Clemson (66-62) (no surprise there, as the Tigers have now pulled 4 consecutive upsets). Part of the reason they have struggled is that they have missed interior force, Mathiang, a 6’10” interior dominator. From an historical perspective, Pitino’s teams have always done better on the road (88-62 ATS) than at home. As well, his teams normally streak late in the season, where they string together multiple pointspread victories, resulting in a record of 82-49 ATS following consecutive ATS victories. Neither is aiding the Cardinals’ cause today!

The Panthers, conversely, continue their banner season. With 5 consecutive losses to end an injury-plagued campaign of last, the Panthers had a 19-15 SU record and missed the NCAA on a rare occasion. This, however, has been a huge bounce back season for Pitt. The numbers don’t lie, as the Panthers, like Louisville, are among the 13 teams who qualify among our 2016 Super Ds of college hoops, as well as making our list of Smooth Operators this college basketball season. With the help of experienced triplets, PG Robinson and explosive wing players, Young and Artis, the Panthers are averaging 85/50/38/79 on offense.  With a (+10.8) rebound margin, (+9.1) assist/TO margin and a positive net TO margin, the combination of those last 3 numbers is (20.2) … the best in college basketball this season! Along with defense allowing just 65 PPG and 40% from the field, this team has it all. Do not expect a letdown by the Panthers, after the Notre Dame upset on Sunday. For, they are fully motivated by a double revenge motive from last year. With a price that represents more perception (of the Louisville history) than the reality of the Pitt program this year, this is a great value play on an underdog.

I invite you to put the NCAA basketball odds in your favor and join me in my NCAA basketball pick on the Pitt Panthers, who are 54-33 ATS under 13th year HC Dixon as underdog.

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