College Basketball Odds: Louisville Cardinals vs. Marquette Golden Eagles

No. 15 Louisville Cardinals at No. 24 Marquette Golden Eagles
Monday, 1/16/12, 3:30 PM EST, TV:  ESPN
Opening Point Spread:  Marquette -4.5
Current Betting Line:  Marquette -4.5
Opening Total:  133.5
Current Total:  135
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

The Louisville Cardinals are road underdogs against the Marquette Golden Eagles Monday

Louisville has lost four of its last six games and will look to win two straight games for the first time since Dec. 20-23 on Monday night inside the Bradley Center.  The Cardinals have won six of the last seven meetings in this particular series, including two victories during the 2010-11 campaign.  Defense is the name of the game for this program, ranking fifth in the nation in allowing opponents to hit just 36.4 percent of their shots.  Louisville is 13-2 ATS on the road the last two-plus seasons.

The Cardinals have been very happy with the play of sophomore guard Russ Smith, who has scored 23 or more points in four of the last nine games.  He’s one of three players in the starting lineup averaging double figures in scoring.  Louisville leads this series, 40-25, as the squad is experiencing the first of this season’s three tight turnarounds in Big East Conference play this year.  Head coach Rick Pitino has a 10-9 record versus Monday’s opponent overall, including a 10-8 record during his time in Louisville.

Marquette wraps up a three-game homestand in hosting Louisville on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, looking to win its third-straight game after losing two in a row.  The Golden Eagles got major contributions from seniors Darius Johnson-Odom and Jae Crowder in tallying a 62-57 win over the Pittsburgh Panthers.  It’s important to note that the duo combined to score just 29 points in two meetings with the Cardinals last year.  Marquette is 1-5 ATS at home this season and the ‘over’ is 4-3 in that situation.

The Golden Eagles have certainly shortened their bench during conference play, as head coach Buzz Williams used only seven players for the second time this season.  Marquette is going to have a very tough time shooting over 50 percent in this contest, which is an important number for its success, tallying a dominating 40-3 record when doing so since the start of the 2008-09 season.  Even though the bench has been shortened recently, the reserves have still contributed 19.6 points and 14.5 rebounds per game.

Bettors will likely back the Cardinals due to their 9-4 ATS mark in Big East play, while the Golden Eagles are 1-8-1 ATS as a favorite.

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