College Basketball Picks Against the Spread: Florida International Golden Panthers vs. Louisville Cardinals

Florida International Golden Panthers at Louisville Cardinals
Wednesday, 12/19/12, 7:00 PM EST, TV:  ESPN3
Opening Point Spread:  Louisville -29
Current Betting Line:  Louisville -27
Opening Total:  N/A
Current Total:  N/A
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

The Louisville Cardinals lead the nation in turnover margin

Florida International has alternated wins and losses over its last four games, as it comes off an embarrassing 76-73 road loss to Florida Gulf Coast last Thursday.  The Golden Panthers may have been looking ahead to this affair, considering head coach Richard Pitino will be matching wits with his father.  “I talk to him every day about basketball,” he commented.  Offensively, the team has three players averaging double figures, with junior guard Malik Smith leading the way in scoring 16.9 points per game.  Florida International is 3-3 ATS as a road underdog of 12.5 or more points since 2010, which offers little edge when looking over the college basketball betting odds.

The Golden Panthers are in the process of playing six consecutive games on the road, which must be factored into your decision-making when making your college basketball picks against the spread.  Florida International is 2-25 all-time versus Big East Conference opponents, which includes a 92-55 setback as 22.5-point road underdogs on Dec. 1, 2010.  It’s important to note that the program is currently shooting 44.1 percent from the floor—tops among Sun Belt Conference teams.

Louisville returns to the KFC Yum! Center after picking up an 87-78 victory over the Memphis Tigers as four-point road favorites, while going OVER the posted total of 139.  The Cardinals have scored 274 of their 780 points off turnovers this year, which isn’t surprising when you consider they pace college basketball with a plus-9.4 turnover margin.  Louisville is 4-1 ATS versus Sun Belt foes over the last two-plus seasons, with the OVER going 3-2 in that situation.

The Cardinals simply outmatch their opponent in this affair, while the dad has won 14 of 16 father-son coaching matchups in college basketball.  Louisville has three probable starters averaging in double figures, with shooting guard Russ Smith leading the way, scoring 20.2 points per game.  The program has compiled a dominating 100-9 home record in regular-season non-conference games under Pitino’s watch, including a 31-4 mark the last three seasons.

Sports bettors will likely play the Cardinals due to their 12-4 ATS mark in non-conference play, while the Golden Panthers are 0-4 ATS versus Big East foes.

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