NCAA Tournament Picks: Duke Blue Devils vs. Louisville Cardinals

No. 2 Duke Blue Devils vs. No. 1 Louisville Cardinals
Sunday, 3/31/13, 5:05 PM EST, TV:  CBS
Opening Point Spread:  Louisville -3.5
Current Betting Line:  Louisville -3.5
Opening Total:  137
Current Total:  137
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

The Duke Blue Devils are 8-2 ATS on a neutral floor this season
The Duke Blue Devils are 8-2 ATS on a neutral floor this season

Duke defeated No. 3 seed Michigan State 71-61 as two-point neutral-site favorites in the Sweet 16 of the 2013 NCAA Tournament, while going UNDER the total for the third consecutive contest.  The Blue Devils have won all 16 of their games against non-conference opponents this year, while going 4-0 versus top-five teams during the 2012-13 NCAA basketball campaign.  Duke is 8-2 ATS on a neutral floor, with the OVER going 5-4-1 in that situation.

The Blue Devils are 7-1 in NCAA Tournament games played in Indianapolis, while they’ve gone 5-3 versus the Cardinals in eight previous meetings, including a 76-71 victory as one-point underdogs on Nov. 24.  Duke is in the Elite Eight for the 19th time in school history and 13th time under coach Mike Krzyzewski, as it looks to improve upon its 16-2 all-time record at this stage of the Big Dance.  Five players are averaging in double figures offensively, with senior guard Seth Curry leading the way, scoring 17.6 points per game.

Louisville will be looking to advance to its 10th NCAA Final Four and second straight Sunday, as it comes off a 77-69 victory over the Oregon Ducks as 11-point neutral-site favorites, while going OVER the total for a seventh consecutive contest.  The Cardinals have a 9-2 record as a No. 1 seed since the NCAA began seeding teams in 1979, which is important to consider when making your college basketball picks against the spread.  Louisville is a dominating 20-4-1 ATS in March the last two-plus seasons, with the UNDER going 14-11 in those opportunities.

The Cardinals have a 2-4 record in the NCAA Tournament when facing a No. 2 seed, but coach Rick Pitino is 45-16 all-time in this particular event, including a 36-6 mark when his team is the lower seed.  Louisville has won 13 games in a row by an average of 17.0 points, with guard Russ Smith being the main player offensively, scoring 19.6 points per game.

Sports bettors will likely back the Blue Devils due to their 11-6 ATS mark when playing on one or less days rest, while the Cardinals are 1-5 ATS versus teams that average 77 or more points per game.

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