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Louisville vs West Virginia Betting Odds – Deep Mountaineers will be too much for Cardinals

Posted by Washington Tucker on 1/29/2010 12:52:34 PM

NCAA Basketball Odds: Pick West Virginia

West Virginia was thought to be an online betting dark horse to make some noise in March, but the Mountaineers have yet to show off all of their talents in another deep year in the Big East. The Mountaineers will welcome a slumping Louisville team to Morgantown this weekend, and with their vast array of weapons, West Virginia will wear down the turnover-prone Cardinals.

WHAT: NCAA basketball betting
WHEN: Saturday, January 30, 12:00 PM ET
WHERE: WVU Coliseum, Morgantown, WV
KEY STAT: West Virginia is 8-1 at home; Louisville is 1-4 on the road

The Storyline: Louisville vs West Virginia Betting Odds
The Cardinals (13-7, 4-3) snapped a three-game skid with a 68-60 win at home over Cincinnati, and this will be their fourth game against a ranked team since the beginning of the year, but that’s what happens when you play in the Big East. The No.9 Mountaineers (16-3, 5-2) have won three straight since losing a nail-biter to Syracuse, but the verdict is still out on West Virginia’s March Madness betting chances.

Offensive Matchups: Louisville vs West Virginia Betting Odds
Scoring isn’t a problem for the Cardinals, who are 21st in the nation in that category. Samardo Samuels and Edgar Sosa lead the team in that respect. However, they’re 231st in the country in three-point percentage, and they can be sloppy with the ball sometimes. With the experience Louisville has at the guard position, they shouldn’t be turning the ball over 13.9 times per game.
The Mountaineers pass the ball around, and even better, they take care of it, coming in 12th in assist-to-turnover ratio. West Virginia also has four players that can assume the scoring duties, and Devin Ebanks may be the most talented player on the team, but he’s in a bit of a slump. This puts pressure on do-everything forward Da’Sean Butler.

Betting Edge:

Defensive Matchups: Louisville vs West Virginia Betting Odds
Louisville’s squad is having problems with coach Rick Pitino’s high-pressure defensive schemes as the Cardinals are 202nd in points allowed, 168th in field-goal defense and 241st in three-point defense. The Cardinals really miss Earl Clark’s versatility on that end of the floor, but they showed signs of life in forcing 17 turnovers against Cincinnati.
West Virginia’s sportsbook odds depend on their defense, which has been a mixed bag. The Mountaineers are 46th in points allowed, but they’re only 215th in field-goal defense. West Virginia doesn’t have a standout shot-blocker, but Ebanks can play defense with the best of them. Just look at how he did against Ohio State’s Evan Turner, a Player of the Year candidate, in a January 23rd win over the Buckeyes. Ebanks held the Ohio State star without a field goal in the second half of that come-from-behind win, which is encouraging. 

Betting Edge:
West Virginia

Coaching Matchup: Louisville vs West Virginia Betting Odds
Pitino is still dealing with his personal problems, but he won’t use that as an excuse for Louisville’s poor play. The biggest reason the Cardinals aren’t as good is because Clark and Terrance Williams bolted for the NBA. But Louisville can still make the Big Dance if they can pull out some marquee wins. A win in Morgantown would be a good start for Pitino.
Bob Huggins knows how talented his team is, but they haven’t always shown it, and he’s not afraid to tell them about it. The Mountaineers don’t seem like an intense team, a huge contrast from their coach, but they would be better off with a spark, especially form Ebanks. Huggins has to get this team going soon, because they have Pitt and Villanova in the next 10 days.

Betting Edge:

Betting Prediction: Louisville vs West Virginia Betting Odds
The Cardinals have won five of their last six against the Mountaineers, including a 62-59 win in Morgantown last year. However, this Louisville team isn’t as talented, and they’re 1-4 away from home so far this year, while West Virginia is 8-1 at home. The Louisville defense is shaky, and they’ll have to figure out who they are going to take out of the West Virginia system, namely Butler or Ebanks, but Kevin Jones and “Truck” Bryant are also capable of carrying the load. West Virginia just has too many weapons for the struggling Cardinals.

Washington’s Pick:
West Virginia

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