Take the Home Team Plus the Points With Your NCAA Basketball Picks for Virginia vs. Louisville

Willie Bee

Saturday, March 7, 2015 12:55 PM GMT

The Louisville Cardinals are in a fight for the No. 4 seed in the ACC, and they'll close their regular season with a college basketball odds battle at home against the Virginia Cavaliers.

Just in case you need a little practice as a fan to get in shape for the upcoming conference tournaments and then the big NCAA tourney, Saturday's college basketball betting card should do the trick. The jam-packed schedule includes four matchups between top 25 teams, each looking to impress the committee in their final regular season contests.

The Atlantic Coast Conference  slate alone is worth stretching out in your favorite recliner for 11-12 hours of hoops action...just make certain to have plenty of cold beverages and hot food on hand to keep you fueled through the grueling day.

Things really get interesting once the sun goes down back east as the Virginia Cavaliers, who have already locked up the regular season title, travel to Louisville to take on a Cardinals crew that is in a fight for fourth place and the double-bye in the league tourney that goes with it. ESPN will start its coverage of the clash at 6:30 PM (ET) and follow this game with the Duke-North Carolina matchup.

Virginia started at -3, that spread now at -2½ at most sports books charted by SBR's live college basketball odds. The total has yet to be released, but is expected out soon.

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Cavs Can Close Campaign On 10-Game Win Streak
With the No. 1 seed already in the bag for the conference tourney in Greensboro, and leading the chase for the second No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament, life is indeed good for Tony Bennett and the Cavaliers. That isn't to suggest Virginia can afford to ease off now, however, not with the competition eager to move up and take a top seed for March Madness away.

It had been about 25 years since the Cardinals and Cavaliers last met when they squared off in Charlottesville on February 7. Favored by 6½ at home, Virginia couldn't quite cover that spread in the 52-47 victory that saw neither team able to connect on tries from beyond the arc. The Cavs and Cards combined to hit just 5-of-28 from 3-point range, and the contest fell almost 20 points shy of a 118½ scoreboard mark.

Virginia has won seven games since then to run their current streak to nine, but has only managed to cover three times in that stretch. Louisville has gone 4-3 since the loss, beating the NCAA Basketball odds just twice.

 

Wahoos Get More Bad News For Justin Anderson
Just when it looked like Virginia (28-1 straight up, 15-11-1 against the spread) was going to return to full strength on the roster, Justin Anderson was felled by an appendectomy. The junior guard had been out since the first meeting with Louisville due to a broken finger, and was expected back in the lineup for this game before undergoing surgery on Thursday. He's now unlikely to be available for the ACC Tournament and possibly beyond.

Bennett has been employing a variety of players in Anderson's place, including freshman guard Marial Shayok and junior forward Evan Nolte.

 

The Ville Fading With 3 Losses Last 6 Games
Scoring has fallen off for Louisville (23-7 SU, 11-17-1 ATS) since Chris Jones was dismissed from the program following rape allegations. Those charges have been called into question now, but without their 3rd-leading scorer, that's little consolation for a Cardinals team that has failed to reach the 60-point plateau in four of their last five.

The Cards are coming off a 71-59 defeat at home to Notre Dame on Wednesday. Louisville trailed by 11 at intermission, but pulled even midway through the second half only to watch Irish shooters get hot and pull off the upset as 4 point road 'dogs.

The Cardinals are kind of a mess right now, but this is the type of game that can help change that up. I'm taking the points and the home team for my free NCAA basketball picks.

NCAA Basketball Pick: Louisville +2.5 at 5Dimes