The second-ranked Virginia Cavaliers are 9-0 straight up in their last nine games, but if you bet on them against the spread you would have a 2-5-1 record in your last eight games. Today the Cavaliers head to Kentucky to take on the 16th-ranked Louisville Cardinals at the KFC Yum! Center in their final regular season tilt.
Virginia is currently going off at 12/1 on the odds to win the NCAA tournament. The Cavs play a low-scoring style of play, which doesn’t often help them cover the spread, but does allow them to win a lot of games.
A Closer Look At The Virginia Cavaliers at Louisville Cardinals Betting Line, My ATS Pick & Game Analysis
Matchup: (2) Virginia Cavaliers at (16) Louisville Cardinals
Date: Mar. 7, 2015
Start Time: 6:30 p.m. ET
Location: Louisville, Kentucky
Stadium: KFC Yum! Center
TV Info: ESPN
Radio: Virginia Vs Louisville
View all live NCAA Men’s Basketball odds
Point Spread: Virginia Cavaliers -2.5
Virginia Will Cover the 2.5-point Spread If
They can get a few more possessions than the Cardinals and convert those possessions.
Virginia is an experienced, brilliant defensive team. They know that the battle against Louisville in Louisville is going to be a drag out, knock down fight, that will come down to which team gets the most possessions and converts those possessions.
— UVa Men's Basketball (@UVAMensHoops) March 6, 2015
The Cavaliers had a nice 9 point lead in the second half of the first game between these two. But, then, almost unexpectedly, the Cardinals stormed back to cut the lead to 5 points. The margin remained 5 as Virginia beat Louisville 52 to 47. In that game, Virginia ended up with 5 more possessions than the Cardinals, 51 to 46. Virginia needs to fight for even more possessions than that on Saturday if they wish to cover the spread. The Cavaliers will also want to shoot better from the field, they only made 17 of those 51 shots, in order to ensure a spread cover.
Louisville Will Cover the 2.5-point Spread If
The Cardinals can force more turnovers in the rematch versus the Cavaliers.
Louisville played too good to lose in the first game between these two. Once Virginia’s Justin Anderson left the game with a broken finger, the Cardinals began to play with much more passion. They cut Virginia’s lead all the way to 5 points.
But, the Cardinals couldn’t capitalize. A lot of why Louisville failed to beat Virginia straight up in the first game has to do with Louisville’s defense. The Cardinals are almost as good defensively as Virginia. The main difference in the first game is that the Cavaliers forced 10 turnovers while Louisville forced only 2.
— Louisville Athletics (@GoCards) March 5, 2015
It is impossible to beat Virginia straight up, and Louisville is likely to be favored in the rematch since they are the home team, unless you can force the Cavaliers into turnovers. Louisville will need to force at least 8 turnovers in this game in order to cover the spread. Since Anderson won’t be playing, the Cardinals should have opportunities to force the needed turnovers for a spread cover.