Providence Friars at Louisville Cardinals, KFC Yum! Center, Louisville, KY
Wednesday, March 2, 2011, 7:00 pm Eastern, TV: ESPN3
Opening Line: Louisville -13.5
Current Line: Louisville -13.5
Opening Total: 149.5
Current Total: 148
Money Line: Louisville -1200 / Providence +800
With two games left in the regular season, the 11th-ranked Louisville Cardinals (22-7, 11-5 Big East) might not be able to catch #4 Pittsburgh or #8 Notre Dame for the conference’s regular-season title. But the Cardinals (-13.5) can move a step closer to securing a double bye in the Big East tournament with a win over the Providence Friars (14-15, 3-13) on Wednesday.
Louisville visits West Virginia on Saturday in the regular-season finale and would be in excellent shape to clinch one of four double byes with a victory against Providence because the team already has wins over #12 Syracuse and #15 St. John’s. The Red Storm is tied for third with the Cardinals and has games at Seton Hall and at home against South Florida remaining while the Orange are a half-game behind and finish up by hosting DePaul on Saturday.
Providence will not be playing in the conference tournament and has dropped six games in a row overall and 15 straight on the road going back to last season. The Friars were blown out 86-62 at Marquette on Sunday, failing to cover the spread for the fourth time in their last five games. Leading scorer Marshon Brooks was limited to 17 points, his lowest total since scoring 13 in a 93-63 loss at West Virginia back on January 13.
Brooks has scored in double figures in every game this season and remains the lone bright spot on an otherwise dismal campaign for Providence. He set a Big East record with a career-high 52 points in a 94-93 home loss to Notre Dame a week ago and has certainly helped the OVER cash in three of the team’s last four games, averaging 31 points during that stretch. He also scored a game-high 27 points in a 72-67 upset of Louisville on January 22.
The Cardinals made just 4 of 23 shots from 3-point range in the last meeting with the Friars, and Kyle Kuric went 0 for 4 from the field and scored just five points in 13 minutes of action. That is significant considering Kuric was the hero in Sunday’s 62-59 overtime win against the Panthers. He scored both of his team’s two baskets in the extra session and finished with 12 points.
Louisville had won the previous nine matchups with Providence prior to the last meeting and has still gone 6-1 against the spread in the past seven games between the teams. The UNDER has cashed in the last four games overall for the Cardinals, who are allowing an average of less than 55 points over that period.
Now that you have read this Big East college basketball betting preview featuring Louisville and Providence, check out the NCAA basketball odds on this and all the games to compare the best lines at multiple sportsbooks.