Pittsburgh Panthers (12-4; 5-8-2 ATS; 8-7 O/U) vs. Louisville Cardinals (13-3; 10-4 ATS; 2-11 O/U)
NCAAB: Wednesday, January 11, 2017 at 7:00pm EST
Line: Louisville -12
The 13th ranked Louisville Cardinals will host the Pittsburgh Panthers in an ACC battle Wednesday evening from the KFC Yum Center. Pittsburgh is coming off a 77-66 road loss to Syracuse in their latest action, and Louisville crushed Georgia 65-50 on Saturday. Louisville beat Pittsburgh in both meetings last season.
Panthers Offense Struggles in Loss to Orange
The Pittsburgh Panthers got off to a very slow start and could not recover in a 77-66 road loss to Syracuse on Saturday afternoon. Pittsburgh found themselves down 36-8 in the first half and finished the afternoon shooting only 35% while Syracuse made 14 of 27 shots from beyond the arc. Jamel Artis led the way offensively, sinking 23 points on 6 for 14 shooting. The senior forward is red hot, averaging 25.5 points per game over his last five games, and is now scoring an average of 21.5 points per game. The Panthers other sharp shooter Michael Young added 17 points in the defeat. Young currently leads the entire ACC with 22.3 points per game. The Panthers have now lost two out of their last three and now own a 1-2 record in ACC play. The Pittsburgh offense has been outstanding but have struggled defensively at times. They are currently ranked 53rd overall in Ken Pomeroy’s College Basketball Rankings.
Pittsburgh is scoring an average of 81.3 points per game, good for 41st overall, and are shooting 46.9% as a team. The Panthers are conceding an average of 75.9 points per game, placing them down at 265th overall.
Cardinals Defense Comes up big in Win Over GT
The Louisville Cardinals played spectacular defense in a 65-50 win over Georgia Tech on Saturday afternoon. Louisville only shot 38% from the field but really slowed down Georgia Tech, holding them to 34% shooting. Donovan Mitchell continued his strong play, scoring 20 points and has now scored 20 or more points in three straight games. The sophomore guard has been solid, averaging a team-leading 13.4 points per game. Ray Spalding played great defense in the win, collecting 12 rebounds along with two blocks. Quentin Snider picked up a season-high seven assists on Saturday, and although he has not shot the ball well as of late, he does lead the Cardinals in assists. Snider is currently on a 12 for 33 stretch from the field and is second in team scoring averaging 11.4 points per game. The Cardinals now sit at 1-1 in the always tough ACC and now have three straight home games on their schedule.
Louisville is now averaging 75.1 points per game, ranking them 154th overall, and own a 43.3% efficiency from the field. The Cardinals have been tremendous on defense, allowing an average of 60.8 points per game, good for 11th in the Nation.
The Pittsburgh Panthers are:
- 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games in Louisville.
- 1-5-1 ATS in their last 7 games against the ACC.
The Louisville Cardinals are:
- 4-1 ATS in their last 5 home games.
- the favorite is 4-0 ATS in the last 4 meetings.
I am taking Louisville in this one. Louisville plays spectacular defense and I can’t see Pittsburgh coming into Louisville and putting up big points. The Panthers struggled against the Syracuse defense on Saturday and the Cardinals defense is even better, holding opponents to only 37% shooting. Also Pittsburgh’s subpar defense really hurts them going against their ACC foes who can score points especially when going against a weaker defense. I think Louisville’s stifling defense will allow them to cover the points.
Pick: Louisville Cardinals -12
Pittsburgh is a high scoring team but good defense beats good offense and that should be the case in this one. Louisville is solid in facets of their defensive play including covering the three-ball so I expect them to shut down the Panthers offense, plus the under is 12-2 in the Panthers last 14 road games. Louisville is not a high scoring team themselves and have scored 73 or fewer points in four out of their last five games, and the under is 5-1 in their last 6 games against a team with a winning straight up record.