If we have learned anything from watching college basketball over the years, it’s that the season doesn’t really begin in earnest until conference play begins in the second half of the season. It’s not uncommon to see teams who rolled through non-conference play suddenly start to sputter when they go head to head with their biggest rivals. Wednesday night delivers an ACC match-up featuring a pair of teams who have suffered that very fate. The Louisville Cardinals had little difficulty winning in the first half of the season, going 12-1, but have since gone 1-2 to start off conference play. Their visitors this Wednesday night, the Pittsburgh Panthers, followed a very similar course, going 11-2 in non-conference play before slipping to 1-2 in the ACC. The Cardinals are coming into this one having won their last game, while the Panthers are in danger of losing back to back games, which could prove to be a real momentum killer on their season. It really is all to play for in this ACC match-up.
A Closer Look At The College Basketball Betting Odds: Pittsburgh Panthers At Louisville Cardinals
When: Wednesday, January 11 at 7 PM EST
Where: KFC Yum! Center, Louisville
TV: ACC Network
NCAAB Odds: TBA
Why bet on the Pittsburgh Panthers
The Pittsburgh Panthers have perhaps been a little unfortunate in their conference games, and could easily be coming into this one with a pair of ranked scalps under their belt. They lost by a single point to Notre Dame, and then quite easily handled #11 ranked Virginia. Those two solid efforts were then negated with a loss to Syracuse to close out last week. This is a team that seems to play its best against better opposition, which is why they have to be in with a shot versus the Cardinals. The Panthers are a team that can score at will, but who also have a problem keeping opponents at bay in their own end.
Why bet on the Louisville Cardinals
The Cardinals have been able to get to a 13-3 record on the season on the back of their solid defensive play. They are giving up just 60.8 PPG, which has them sitting just outside the top 10 in the nation on defense. They are not a team that lights things up offensively, which could be a problem against a Pittsburgh team that is averaging over 80 PPG this season. On the plus side of the equation is the fact that Louisville have yet to lose to an unranked opponent this season, with all 3 of their losses coming at the hands of teams inside the top 25. They also only have a single loss in their on building, which swings things very much in their favor here.
Expert Pick and Final Score Prediction
I think that the Louisville defense is once again going to rise to the occasion, and I like them to shut down the Pittsburgh offense. This game may be tight in the opening half, but I think the Cardinals pull away in the second.