No. 7 Louisville Cardinals at Butler Bulldogs
Saturday, 11/19/11, 2:00 PM EST, TV: ESPN3
Opening Point Spread: Louisville -3
Current Betting Line: Louisville -4
Opening Total: 129.5
Current Total: 129.5
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker
Louisville is set to play its first road of the season and comes in with a perfect 2-0 record that includes a 68-48 win over Lamar, holding the school to a first-half shooting percentage of .182. The Cardinals will be the highest-ranked opponent to visit the Butler Bulldogs since No. 5 North Carolina came in 1992. “We really are excited,” stated Cardinals head coach Rick Pitino. “When you go to places like this fieldhouse, there’s a lot of nostalgia to it. Louisville is 10-11 ATS on the road the last two-plus seasons.
The Cardinals tallied an 88-73 victory in last year’s meeting that was the first game at the KFC Yum! Center. Louisville is getting major production out of a true freshman already, as forward Chane Behanan is the first known player in school history to produce double-doubles in his first two career games. Junior guard Peyton Siva will not be in the lineup today as the team’s playmaker, sitting out with a severely sprained ankle. It’s a big loss when considering that the program already lost guard Mike Marra for the entire 2011-12 campaign.
Butler continues its four-game home stand that started with a 57-46 win over Chattanooga, but the program has already suffered a loss, falling 80-77 in an overtime contest to Evansville as 3.5-point favorites. The Bulldogs currently own a five-game homecourt winning streak and are 57-5 inside Hinkle Fieldhouse under the direction of head coach Brad Stevens. The program has won 15 of 16 non-league affairs inside the venue that past three years. Butler is 11-16 ATS at home the past two-plus seasons, while the ‘over’ is 15-12 in those contests.
The Bulldogs have played just two nationally-ranked opponents at home during the Stevens’ era, posting a 1-1 record in those contests. Butler is led offensively by junior Andrew Smith, who is averaging 18.5 points and 9.5 rebounds per game, as the 6-11 center was the team’s third-leading scorer and second-leading rebounder a year ago. For the third consecutive year, the program was picked to win the Horizon League, but no player ended up on the preseason All-League team.
Bettors will likely back the Cardinals due to their 7-2 ATS mark as a road favorite, while the Bulldogs are 2-3 ATS versus Big East Conference opponents.
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