#11 Virginia Cavaliers at #16 Louisville Cardinals
Saturday, January 30, 2016, 1:00 pm Eastern, TV: CBS
KFC Yum! Center – Louisville, Kentucky
Opening Line: Louisville -6 1/2
Current Line: Louisville -6
Opening Total: 130
Current Total: 128
Opening Money Line: Louisville -295 / Virginia +235
Current Money Line: Louisville -275 / Virginia +225
The 17-3 Louisville Cardinals host the 16-4 Virginia Cavaliers in a key ACC game Saturday afternoon. The Cardinals are 6-1 in ACC play and alone in second behind 7-0 North Carolina. Virginia is 5-3 and tied for fifth with Miami and Notre Dame.
Virginia leads the series 6-4 against Louisville and the series dates back to 1924. The teams split the regular season series last year with each winning at home, Virginia 52-47 and Louisville 59-57. They will close out the regular season March 5 in Charlottesville.
Virginia is coached by Tony Bennett. The Cavaliers have road losses at George Washington, Virginia Tech, Georgia Tech and Florida State. Virginia has won three straight games since losing three of four earlier this month. The Cavaliers have neutral site wins over Bradley, Long Beach State and George Mason in a tournament in Charleston, South Carolina, plus West Virginia in New York. Virginia has home wins over Lehigh, William & Mary, Villanova, California, Oakland, Notre Dame, Miami, Clemson and Syracuse. The Cavaliers also have road wins over Ohio State and Wake Forest 72-71 Tuesday night. It was an improbable win as Wake led by 10 with 90 seconds left. The Cavaliers made four three pointers in the last minute including the game winner at the buzzer by Darius Thompson. Virginia is 7-11 ATS and the total is 10-8 this season. The Cavaliers were 7.5 point favorites against Wake Forest and the total was 140.5.
Louisville is coached by Rick Pitino. The Cardinals have road losses at Michigan State, Kentucky and Clemson. Louisville has won 4 straight games. The Cardinals have a neutral site win over Saint Louis in Brooklyn, plus road wins at North Carolina State, Georgia Tech and Virginia Tech 91-83 Wednesday. Louisville has home wins over Eastern Michigan, Western Kentucky, Wake Forest, Pitt and Florida State. Louisville was a 10 point favorite against Virginia Tech and the total was 142.5. The Cardinals are 8-8 ATS and the total is 8-7-1 ATS this season.
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Virginia is outscoring teams 73-62 this season. The Cavaliers are #11 nationally in points allowed. Virginia is shooting 49.6% from the field and 39.7% from three point range. The Cavaliers make 75% of their free throws. Virginia is in the top 20 nationally in all three shooting categories. Opponents are shooting 43.1% from the field and 35.7% from 3 point range. Virginia averages 32.6 rebounds per game and opponents average 25.2 per game. The Cavaliers are #1 nationally in rebounds allowed but #321 in rebounding. Virginia averages 14.7 assists, 9.3 rebounds, 5.4 steals and 2.7 blocks per game. Opponents average 9.9 assists, 12 turnovers, 5 steals and 2.3 blocks per game.
Malcolm Brogdon averages 17.6 points, 4.5 rebounds and 2.9 assists. Anthony Gill averages 15 points and 6 rebounds per game. London Parrantes averages 11.7 points, 3.2 rebounds, 4.4 assists and 1.1 steals per game. Mike Tobey averages 7.2 points and 4.2 rebounds per game. Darius Thompson averages 6 points, 1.8 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 1 steal a game. Devon Hall, Isaiah Wilkins, and Marial Shayock will also get time in the rotation.
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Louisville is outscoring teams 81-60 this season. The Cardinals are #5 in points allowed and #32 in scoring nationally. Louisville is shooting 49.1% from the field and 36.8% from 3 point range. The Cardinals make 68.5% of their free throws. Opponents are shooting 36.9% from the field and 30.5% from 3 point range. The Cardinals are #3 nationally in field goal defense and #26 in three point defense. Louisville averages 41.4 rebounds per game and opponents average 28.7 per game. The Cardinals are #33 or better in both categories nationally. Louisville averages 11.9 assists, 12.6 turnovers, 6 steals and 5 blocks per game. Opponents average 9.9 assists, 12.7 turnovers, 5.1 steals and 3.9 blocks per game.
Damion Lee averages 17.2 points, 3.9 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 1.7 steals per game. Trey Lewis averages 12.7 points, 3.7 rebounds and 2.6 assists. Chinanu Onuaku averages 10.6 points, 9 rebounds, 1.1 assists, and 2 blocks per game. Quentin Snider averages 9.8 points, 2.3 rebounds and 3.7 assists per game. Donovon Mitchell averages 7.8 points, 3.9 rebounds and 1.9 assists per game. Mangok Mathiang averages 6.5 points, 5.2 rebounds and 1.1 blocks per game. He is out until early February with a foot injury. Jaylen Johnson, Raymond Spalding and Anas Mahmoud will also get time in the rotation.
Virginia is 34-15-2 ATS in Saturday games, 1-4 after failing to cover, 1-5 against teams with winning home records, 0-5 in road games, 0-4 after a straight up win, against teams with winning records, overall and against ACC teams.
Louisville is 7-3 ATS at home, 2-5 against ACC teams, 2-6 against teams with winning records, 2-7 overall, 1-5 after failing to cover and 1-6 after a straight up win.
Both teams are on winning streaks, but Virginia could be in for a let down after an improbable win Tuesday night at Wake Forest. I think Louisville wins a low scoring game but six points seems like too many.