NCAA Basketball Picks: Louisville Cardinals vs. Connecticut Huskies

No. 3 Louisville Cardinals at Connecticut Huskies
Monday, 1/14/12, 7:00 PM EST, TV:  ESPN
Opening Point Spread:  Louisville -6.5
Current Betting Line:  Louisville -7
Opening Total:  132
Current Total:  132.5
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

The Louisville Cardinals will prove to be too much for the Connecticut Huskies Monday night

Louisville will put its 10-game win streak on the line as one of two games featured on ESPN’s Big Monday, as it comes off an impressive 64-38 victory over the South Florida Bulls as 18.5-point home favorites Saturday, while going UNDER the posted total of 124.  The Cardinals have won back-to-back trips to Connecticut, but those affairs were decided by a combined three points.  The school ranks second nationally with a plus-7.8 turnover margin—scoring 409 of their 1,234 points off turnovers.  Louisville is 3-0 ATS on the road this season, which can’t be ignored when making your NCAA basketball picks.

The Cardinals are shooting 47.6 percent from the floor over their last eight games, as they come in averaging 77.1 points per game.  Louisville has the most road victories in Big East Conference games over the last six years, as it has a great chance of picking up another one in this spot.  Shooting guard Russ Smith is scoring a team-high 18.7 points per game, while back-court mate Peyton Siva checks in at 11.9.

Connecticut has won six of its last seven games, as it comes off a thrilling 65-58 victory over the Notre Dame Fighting Irish as 8.5-point road underdogs, while going UNDER the posted total of 135.  “They’ve got arguably one of the best backcourts in the nation,” stated Cardinals coach Rick Pitino about Monday’s opponent.  “They are a terrific team.”  In the last five games, the Huskies backcourt of Shabazz Napier and Ryan Boatright have combined to average 37.0 points and 10.0 assists per game.  Connecticut is 15-8 ATS as an underdog since 2010, with the UNDER going 12-11 in that situation.

The Huskies have compiled an impressive 229-83 record in regular season action at the XL Center, which includes a perfect 4-0 mark this season.  Connecticut leads the Big East in averaging 80.0 points per game during conference play, while outscoring foes by 7.3 points per game.  Through Saturday’s action, the program was ranked 16th in the nation in The RPI Report, with Louisville occupying the eighth spot.

Sports bettors will likely back the Cardinals due to their 22-8 ATS mark following a SU win, while the Huskies are 1-5 ATS in the last six meetings in this series.

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