NCAA Basketball Picks: Memphis Tigers vs. Louisville Cardinals

Memphis Tigers vs. Louisville Cardinals
Thursday, 1/9/14, 7:00 PM EST
Opening Point Spread:  Louisville -10
Current Betting Line:  Louisville -9.5
Opening Total:  N/A
Current Total:  N/A
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

The Louisville Cardinals are led offensively by G Russ Smith
The Louisville Cardinals are led offensively by G Russ Smith

Memphis had its three-game winning streak snapped last time out, as it suffered a 69-53 defeat to the Cincinnati Bearcats as five-point home favorites, while going UNDER the betting total for the third time in four contests.  The Tigers are fifth nationally in averaging 10.2 steals per game, while the Cardinals are just two spots behind in that statistical category, which is important to consider when making your NCAA basketball picks.  Offensively, the team has three players averaging in double figures, with senior guard Joe Jackson leading the way at 15.0 points a contest.  Memphis is 17-6 SU and 13-9 ATS at home the last two-plus seasons.

The average margin in the last nine encounters with both teams ranked in this series is 6.3 points, which can’t be ignored when looking over the NCAA basketball odds page.  Memphis has also compiled a dominating 32-4 SU record after a loss under head coach Josh Pastner—with the program last recording back-to-back losses in 2011-12.

Louisville has won back-to-back games since suffering a seven-point loss on the road to Kentucky, as it gets set to play at the KFC Yum! Center for the first time in 23 days.  The Cardinals have won all nine of their home games by 16 or more points, while they’ve covered the number in six of their last eight affairs at this venue when favored by 9.5 to 12 points the last two-plus seasons.  The team has won its first conference home game in four of the past five years.  Louisville is 5-6 SU and 4-7 ATS after playing three consecutive road games in its last 11 opportunities.

The Cardinals have four probable starters averaging in double figures, with senior guard Russ Smith leading the way at 17.7 points a contest.  Louisville ranks second nationally in turnover margin, as it has only one more turnover than steals on the season.  Over its first 15 games, the squad has produced 36 runs of 8-0 or better.

Sports bettors will likely back the Tigers due to the road team being 5-0-1 ATS in the last six meetings in this series.

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