Free College Basketball Picks: Charleston at Louisville Odds
by Dave Schwab - 11/8/2013
The CAA’s Charleston Cougars will step way up in class to kick their season off with a trip to the KFC Yum Center to face the defending National Champion Louisville Cardinals. Tip off for this game is scheduled for 1 p.m. (ET), and it will be broadcast in local markets only.
The Cougars are coming off a solid 2012-13 campaign in which they went 24-11 overall with a 14-4 record in conference play. Their season came to an end with a 78-77 loss to George Mason in the opening round of the CBI Tournament.
Louisville begins its defense of its title as the No. 3 team in the nation in both the AP and USA Today Coaches preseason rankings. The numbers on last year’s run to a National Championship include an overall record of 35-5 that featured a 16-game straight up winning streak to close out the season.
Charleston at Louisville Betting Storylines
This will be Charleston’s first season in the Colonial Athletic Association after deciding to part ways with the Southern Conference in an effort to raise the profile of its program. Second-year head coach Doug Wojick will have an experienced lineup on the floor for this game with the return of four seniors, including point guard Anthony Stitt and power forward Willis Hall.
Stitt will have some big shoes to fill with the departure of Andrew Lawrence, who was the Cougars’ leading scorer last season. The team’s best player could be junior center Adjehi Baru, who should not only lead the team with double-digit rebounds but also be one of Charleston’s top scorers. The Cougars will obviously need to squeeze everything they can out of all five of their starters to keep this game close.
The Cardinals may not be as deep this season as last year’s championship squad, but they still have enough talent to be a major factor in this year’s title race. There are some personnel concerns for Saturday’s game, with last season’s Most Outstanding Player in the Final Four Luke Hancock out of the lineup with a lingering Achilles injury. Starting power forward Chane Behanan is also out after getting suspended indefinitely from the team.
Some of the players that will be in the lineup for the Cardinals this Saturday afternoon are Wayne Blackshear at small forward, Montrezl Harrell in Behanan’s place and center Mangok Mathiang. They will also have last season’s leading scorer, Russ Smith, back for his senior year. Look for the team to draw some inspiration from the return of Kevin Ware after he suffered a horrific leg injury in last season’s NCAA Tournament.
Charleston at Louisville Betting Tends and Futures Odds
The Cougars are 3-8 against the spread in their last 11 nonconference games and 3-9 ATS in their last 12 games overall. The total has stayed “under” in five of their last seven games outside the conference.
The Cardinals are 11-2 ATS in their last 13 games and 9-2 ATS in their last 11 games at home. The total has gone “over” in 10 of their last 11 nonconference games.
These two met last season, with Louisville cruising to an 80-38 victory as a 10.5-point road favorite. The year before the Cardinals sweated out a 69-62 win as 18-point home favorites. The total stayed under in both games.
Free College Basketball Picks: Charleston at Louisville Betting Predictions
It is always a risk laying a big spread in a college basketball season opener no matter which two teams are playing, but the Cardinals’ motivation for a fast start to prove that last year’s run was not a fluke remains high. The end result will not be as lopsided as last year’s contest, but stick with Louisville to play well enough to cover the spread against the Cougars this Saturday afternoon.
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