ACC Football Odds, Trends: (5) Louisville Cardinals at Virginia Cavaliers

Brandon Radcliff (pictured) is good and having a good year, but QB Lamar Jackson has kind over overshadowed it, to say the least.
Brandon Radcliff (pictured) is good and having a good year, but QB Lamar Jackson has kind over overshadowed it, to say the least.

(5) Louisville-Virginia
Time: 11 AM (CT)
Spread: LOU -33
Total: 70.5

Betting odds c/o 5dimes

The No. 5 ranked Louisville Cardinals are 6-1 after knocking off NC State 54-13 last week. The Cardinals now travel to face the Virginia Cavaliers in a game which will air at 11 AM Central time on ESPN.

College football oddsmakers have set the line a heavy 33-points in favor of the visiting Cardinals with an over/under set at a gratuitous 70.5 points.

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Louisville, as expected, had no problems with the Wolfpack last week. Heisman favorite Lamar Jackson passed for 355 yards and three TDs while rushing for another 76 yards and a TD as Louisville led the Wolfpack 44-0 at the halfway point. Louisville dominated every aspect of the football game, and amassed 163 rushing yards to go with the 390 total passing. Cole Hikutini and Jaylen Smith led the way with 118 and 90 yards, respectively, as each scored a TD, as well.

Jackson, though, is the one headlining this team. The 6’3” sophomore has thrown for 2,161 yards on the season at a 58.3 percent completion clip with 18 TD passes and four interceptions. He has rushed for 100 yards or more in five of Louisville’s seven games, and he had 306 combined yards in the two previous week’s leading into last week’s effort.

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Jackson has also not thrown an interception the last two weeks after having recorded four games straight with a pick. He is going from great to unstoppable before our eyes, and NFL teams are already salivating over his eligibility since there will be at least one more year to wait on the youngster. Jackson has scored 16 rushing TDs and averages 7.0 yards per carry on his team-leading 130 rushing attempts. He is the team.

Brandon Radcliff has done a fair job in the backfield as well, rushing for 7.8 yards per carry on his 71 attempts including three TD runs, while Jeremy Smith has contributed the No. 2 most TDs at seven with his 268 yards. James Quick has been the No. 1 receiver with 523 yards on 32 catches on the season and Jamari Staples has 426 yards on 22 catches.

Last week’s star Hikutini is No. 3 with 393 yards on 27 catches. Hikutini is one of three Cardinals with at least four TDs on the season (the others being Quick and Smith).

Virginia is 2-5 on the season and has dropped its past two contests to Pitt and Duke after having crept out to a (not so) impressive 2-3 start this season. The Cavaliers rank near the bottom in both points allowed (32.7, No. 101) and rush offense (113.6 yards per game, No. 117). The pass offense has been good, but it has not been enough to keep the Cavaliers afloat this season.

Kurt Benkert has been a reasonably effective quarterback and has thrown for 1,859 yards at at 57.5 percent clip with 14 TDs and seven INTs. But he averages just 6.76 yards per attempt, and the seven picks is not really good.

Benkert’s No. 1 receiver, Olamide Zaccheaus, has caught 31 passes for 439 yards and five TDs while Keeon Johnson has also caught 34 passes for 323 yards and three TDs. The Cavaliers have 15 receiving TDs on the season with just 10 via the rush, and the team has caught 162 passes on the season with an 11.6 yard per attempt average.

If the rush game were more effective (see: 3.6 yards per carry as a team), this could be a more dangerous football team. Of course, the lack of defense kind of spells the picture well enough too: Louisville should have no problem really running up the score against Virginia, which is why the point spread is so big and the total so high—it is hardly due to Virginia being any sort of offensive juggernaut itself.

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