College Basketball on Saturday and we will see the Louisville Cardinals travel South Bend, Indiana to take on the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. The game is scheduled for a 9:00 pm (Eastern) start time and will be televised on ESPN. Currently the odds for the game have Louisville favored by 5.5 point while the total sits at 125. Check out Sportsbook Spy to see who the Public is taking on all of today's games.
Analysis: Rick Pitino's Cardinals are in the thick of the conference race. Louisville has won three straight games, putting some distance between itself and an ugly three-game slide. The Cardinals began a two-game road trip on Wednesday with a 68-48 rout of Rutgers to move to 19-4 overall and 7-3 in league play, a half game behind both Syracuse and Marquette. The Cardinals have been solid at both ends of the floor this season and as a result, enjoy a +16.4 scoring margin. The team is shooting a solid .450 from the field and averaging 73.6 ppg. The defensive effort has been far more consistent, holding opponents to a mere 57.2 ppg and under 40 percent shooting (.396). Smith is a dynamic scorer, averaging 18.2 ppg to rank fourth in the Big East. Siva can score as well (10.6 ppg) but may be more valuable as a distributor (fourth in the conference at 6.1 apg). Chane Behanan (10.4 ppg, 7.2 rpg) and Gorgui Dieng (8.9 ppg, 9.8 rpg) give the team balance in the frontcourt.
Mike Brey's Irish aren't far off the mark with a 6-4 league ledger. Notre Dame dropped a 63-47 decision at league-leading Syracuse on Monday, ending a three- game win streak. The Fighting Irish are 13-2 at home this season. Trailing by six points at the half, Notre Dame never allowed itself to get back into the game against Syracuse, going ice-cold in the second half, converting just 27.9 percent from the floor over the final 20 minutes, including a mere 2-of-11 from behind the arc. The Irish have been much more efficient at the offensive end this season, ranking ninth nationally in field-goal percentage (.487), while leading the nation in assists/turnover ratio (1.74). Cooley has been the driving force with his dominance in the paint. The 6-foot-9 senior is converting 58.4 percent of his shots and is averaging a double-double with 14.2 points and 11.2 rebounds per outing. His rebounding efforts rank fifth nationally. Grant and Eric Atkins provide perimeter scoring with 13.4 and 12.8 ppg, respectively. Both are top-tier distributors, with Grant doling out 5.9 apg and Atkins coming in at 4.8 apg.
Free Pick: I will look to the over in this game. Notre Dame can score some points and they seem to be playing a bit faster this year. Notre Dame averages 72.9 ppg at home, while Louisville aveages 70.9 ppg on the road. Should be a good close game with 130+ points being scored.
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