College Basketball Predictions: Louisville Cardinals vs. UCF Knights

Louisville Cardinals vs. UCF Knights
Tuesday, 12/31/13, 5:00 PM EST
Opening Point Spread: Louisville -12.5
Current Betting Line:  Louisville -12.5
Opening Total:  N/A
Current Total:  N/A
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

The Louisville Cardinals will look to bounce back from their second loss of the season
The Louisville Cardinals will look to bounce back from their second loss of the season

Louisville suffered its second loss of the 2013-14 campaign, as it looks to bounce back from a 73-66 defeat to the Kentucky Wildcats as 1.5-point road favorites last Saturday, while going UNDER the betting total for the first time in five contests.  The Cardinals will be playing their first game in the newly formed American Athletic Conference, which is important to consider when making your college basketball predictions.  The team has won its first conference road game in each of the last six seasons.  Louisville is 3-0 SUATS as road favorites of 12.5 or more points since the start of the 2011-12 campaign.

The Cardinals lead the nation in turnover margin—generating an average of 22.3 points per game off opponents’ miscues.  Offensively, the team is led by the play of Russ Smith and Chris Jones, as the duo combines to average 30.7 points per game.  Over its first 13 games of the season, Louisville has produced 33 runs of 8-0 or better, which can’t be ignored when looking over the college basketball odds page.

UCF has won five games in a row, but hasn’t played since Dec. 22.  The Knights have knocked down 11-plus three-point shots in each of their last four contests, as they prepare to host a top-25 opponent for just the fourth time in school history.  The program has compiled a dismal 3-25 SU all-time record against ranked opponents.  During the Donnie Jones era on campus, the team has won 22 of 23 home games in the month of December.  UCF is 9-17 SU and 13-13 ATS as an underdog the last two-plus seasons.

The Knights have four probable starters averaging double figures, with senior guard Calvin Newell leading the way at 14.8 points a contest.  He paces the conference in averaging 2.4 steals per game, while being one of four players that have connected on 14 or more shots from beyond the arc.  During its current winning streak, UCF has averaged 19.0 assists.

Sports bettors will likely play the total, as the OVER is 4-1-1 in the Knights’ last six home games.

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