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Cincinnati at Louisville: What Bettors Need to Know
Cincinnati Bearcats at Louisville Cardinals (-10, 121)
Louisville may be one game out of first place, but has to like where it stands entering the final week of the regular season. The Cardinals will play the first of two straight home games to close out their schedule on Monday against Cincinnati. Louisville, winners of five in a row and eight of its last nine, hasn’t lost since its five-overtime setback against Notre Dame on Feb. 9, defeating four of its opponents over that span by at least 14 points.
The Cardinals – 13-1 at home this season – are coming off a 58-53 road victory over Syracuse on Saturday, but will be playing for the third game in six days when they host the Bearcats. Cincinnati halted a three-game skid with a 61-56 win over Connecticut, but finds itself in a three-way tie for ninth place with Providence and St. John’s. The Bearcats could strengthen their NCAA Tournament resume with a win, but a loss could damage their hopes of securing a first-round bye in the Big East Tournament.
TV: 7 p.m. ET, ESPN
ABOUT CINCINNATI (19-9, 7-8 Big East): Sean Kilpatrick – the fourth-leading scorer in the conference – has led the team in scoring in nine of the last 11 contests. The junior guard has made a team-high 34 3-pointers and shooting 80.4 percent from the foul line during the stretch. Taking advantage of a Connecticut team without Shabazz Napier, the Bearcats outscored the Huskies 21-1 in points off turnovers Saturday. Since Cashmere Wright missed his only game of the season on Jan. 19 with a knee sprain, he is shooting 22.9 percent - including 19.7 percent beyond the arc. Over that 10-game stretch, Wright has shot over 30 percent from the field three times.
ABOUT LOUISVILLE (24-5, 12-4): During their winning streak, the Cardinals have limited their opponents to 35.5 percent shooting from the field and 54.2 points. For the season, Louisville has held 18 teams to less than 40 percent shooting and 18 to fewer than 60 points. The Cardinals are third nationally in turnover margin (plus-6.0) and have forced an average of 18.7 turnovers, scoring 661 of their 2140 points off opponents’ miscues. Gorgui Dieng posted his tenth double-digit rebounding performance with 14 boards against the Orange, surpassing 700 career rebounds in the process. Peyton Siva needs seven steals to match Darrell Griffith’s school record of 230.
* Bearcats are 0-4 ATS in their last four games overall.
* Cardinals are 1-4 ATS in their last five home games.
* Under is 6-1 in Bearcats’ last seven road games.
* Under is 5-0 in the last five meetings.
1. This is the first meeting between the schools since last season’s Big East Championship title game.
2. Cardinals coach Rick Pitino needs one more win to notch his 300th victory at Louisville.
3. Cincinnati opponents are scoring 11.2 points below their season average this season when playing the Bearcats.
-- Kansas (-17) won 60-46 at Texas Tech Jan 12, outscoring Tech 19-8 on foul line with +7 turnover ratio, but they led by only a hoop at half. Senior Night in Lawrence; Jayhawks are 6-2 as home favorites this year, covering last four tries- they've won/covered six games in row since the 3-game losing streak. Tech covered once in its last seven road games. Big X double digit home favorites are 6-9 vs spread.
-- Fading Cincinnati lost five of last seven games, after 6-3 start in league play; Bearcats lost last three road games by 4-7-21 points, scoring 52.3 ppg. UC is 2-1 as a road dog. Louisville won last five games, going 3-1 vs spread in last four, but they've covered only once in last five games at home, winning by 18-26-3-19-14-18 points. Big East double digit home favorites are 9-13. Cardinals had big win at Syracuse Saturday.
-- Baylor's buzzer-beater home loss Saturday was brutal for bubble team that is now 1-4 in last five games; Bears (-11) beat Texas 86-79 in OT in conference opener Jan 5, outscoring Longhorns 36-9 on foul line. Bears lost four of last five road games. Texas is 3-3 since Kabongo got eligible, with two of its three wins in OT. Big X underdogs are 17-9 when spread is 3 or less points. Baylor has to be fragile mentally right now.
-- Two of Montana's three best players (Cherry/Ward) are out with foot injuries; Griz played only seven guys in 71-68 win at Montana State on Saturday. Montana (-13) beat Southern Utah 73-67 Jan 17, outscoring T-birds 31-5 on foul line (Griz was 31-47). Big Sky home underdogs are 8-10 vs spread, 3-1 if number was 4 or less points. SUU lost four of its last five overall, but has won five of its last six home games.
-- Savannah State beat North Carolina A&T 56-49 at home two weeks ago, despite turning ball over 27 times (-6); Tigers turn ball over 28% of time, more than any team in country. A&T won its last four home games allowing 52 ppg; Savannah lost its last two games, scoring 58-47 points, after winning 12 of its previous 14 games. Senior Night for A&T team that is #7 in country in terms of experience.
Big 12 Conference
Baylor vs. TEXAS: TOO CLOSE TO CALL
KANSAS 84, Texas Tech 54
Big East Conference
LOUISVILLE 67, Cincinnati 52
Big Sky Conference
Montana 76, SOUTHERN UTAH 66
Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference
COPPIN STATE 66, Umes 56
HAMPTON 65, Bethune-Cookman 60
MORGAN STATE 63, Delaware State 53
NORFOLK STATE 75, Florida A&M 56
NORTH CAROLINA CENTRAL 71, South Carolina State 47
Savannah State 50, NORTH CAROLINA A&T 49
The Bears look to build on their 4-0 ATS record in their last 4 games at Texas. Baylor is the pick (-1 1/2) according to Dunkel, which has the Bears favored by 3. Dunkel Pick: Baylor (-1 1/2). Here are all of today's games.
MONDAY, MARCH 4
Time Posted: 7:00 a.m. EST
Game 715-716: Texas Tech at Kansas (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Texas Tech 51.275; Kansas 73.879
Dunkel Line: Kansas by 22 1/2; 138
Vegas Line: Kansas by 24 1/2; 142
Dunkel Pick: Texas Tech (+24 1/2); Under
Game 717-718: Cincinnati at Louisville (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Cincinnati 63.419; Louisville 77.469
Dunkel Line: Louisville by 14; 126
Vegas Line: Louisville by 10; 120 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Louisville (-10); Over
Game 719-720: Baylor at Texas (9:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Baylor 64.182; Texas 60.973
Dunkel Line: Baylor by 3; 144
Vegas Line: Baylor by 1 1/2; 138
Dunkel Pick: Baylor (-1 1/2); Over
Game 721-722: Montana at Southern Utah (9:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Montana 53.257; Southern Utah 45.835
Dunkel Line: Montana by 7 1/2
Vegas Line: Montana by 2
Dunkel Pick: Montana (-2)
Game 731-732: Savannah State at North Carolina A&T (9:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Savannah State 49.311; North Carolina A&T 48.539
Dunkel Line: Savannah State by 1; 104
Vegas Line: North Carolina A&T by 2 1/2; 108
Dunkel Pick: Savannah State (+2 1/2); Under
On Monday the free NCAAB Play is on Baylor. Game 719 at 9:00 eastern. Baylor has won 17 of 19 vs losing teams and has a solid 63 RPI Ranking while playing the 29th toughest schedule in the country. They won by 5 here last season beat Texas at home earlier in the season despite shooting just 35%. Baylor is 5-1 this season after shooting less than 40% from the field and Texas is 5-14 vs winning teams and has lost 14 of 17 vs top 100 RPI Teams this year. Texas has not played too well on defense of late allowing opponents to shoot over 50% in back to back games for the first time this season. Look for Baylor to emerge with a win and cover.
Conference play is hard on teams, even top tier teams like Kansas. You should always play against favorites of 20 points or more like Kansas when they are off a win against a conference rival. This system is 95-59 (61.7%) over the last five seasons.
This matchup also falls into a system to play on underdogs of 10 or more points like Texas Tech when they are revenging a home loss. This scenario happens a lot in college basketball and over the last five seasons we have seen an 809-615 (56.8%) success rate. Those numbers tighten up to 192-130 (59.6%) when the teams are playing with one or less days of rest.
Playing on only one day of rest, the Jayhawks are in a situation where they may take their foot off the gas against Texas Tech. The season is winding down and Kansas is ready for a few days of rest before they begin to prepare for the Big 12 conference tournament.
I am not sure you can trust Baylor the way they keep letting you down but they are the more talented team and the more desperate team too.
They probably can’t afford to lose another game this season and definitely need this one to get right before a home battle against Kansas that will probably decide their season.
They are 6-4 ATS on the road this season and beat Texas already once this season - in overtime at home. The Bears are 4-0 ATS against the Longhorns of late and 17-5 ATS against teams with a losing record.
If they play well there is no way the Longhorns can stay with them.
For Monday, going with Cincinnati plus the points as they play at Louisville.
Bearcats come in with a 20-9 mark, but they have dropped 5 of their last 7 games overall, so one would think that Cincy needs a strong showing tonight if they wish to get off the fence as far as making it into the Big Dance is concerned.
The good news is, Cincy has had Louisville's number, as the Bearcats have won outright in 3 of the last 4 meetings, and 5 of the last 9 overall.
Louisville is just 5-9 against the spread on their home court this year, while Cincinnati brings in an 8-4 road spread mark for the season. Also, the road team in this series is 6-2 versus the line the past 8 meetings.