Pittsburgh vs. Louisville, 01/11/17 - Prediction & Preview
Written by: Brian Spaen
Pittsburgh Panthers (12-4 SU, 5-8-2 ATS, 8-7 O/U) vs No. 14 Louisville Cardinals (13-3 SU, 10-4 ATS, 2-11-1 O/U)
When and Where: Wednesday, Jan. 11, 7:00 PM ET, KFC Yum! Center in Louisville, KY
Line: Louisville -12.5
Louisville may be 1-2 in ACC play, but it’s still ranked 14th in the nation and will look to win its second straight in conference action when it hosts Pittsburgh on Wednesday night. The Panthers lost last Saturday at Syracuse. The Cardinals also had a road win at Georgia Tech. Louisville has won eight straight meetings against Pittsburgh.
Offensive power outage at Syracuse
Syracuse may have struggled throughout this season, but it took out a lot of frustration against Pittsburgh in a 77-66 victory that was more lopsided than the final score projects. The Panthers were held to just 35.1 percent from the field and went 6-for-19 from 3-point range. They weren’t able to take advantage of going 20-of-23 from the free throw line and having a 37-29 rebounding edge. Despite four players coming off the bench, all the scoring came from Pittsburgh’s five starters.
Senior forwards Jamel Artis (21.5 ppg, 5.9 rpg) led the way with 23 points and 5 rebounds and Sheldon Jeter (8 ppg, 7.9 rpg) picked up his second double-double in the last four games with 12 points and 11 rebounds. Sophomore guard Cameron Johnson (12.4 ppg, 5 rpg) struggled going just 2-for-10 from the field and finished with 7 points and 6 boards. Pittsburgh ended up well below their 81.3-point average per contest (41st nationally).
Thriving from the perimeter
Louisville had quite a gauntlet with four straight top 25 opponents. They went 2-2 in the stretch with both losses against ACC opponents. That means the first conference win comes at Georgia Tech, 65-50. There was a slight lull in the second half that got GT as close as 41-38, but the Cardinals finished the game on a 24-12 run. Louisville didn’t shoot well from the field overall but made up for it with 9-for-16 from downtown and had a 41-34 edge in rebounds. They also turned it over just 8 times compared to their opponent’s 14 cough-ups.
Sophomore guard Donovan Mitchell (13.4 ppg, 4.9 rpg) stole the show nailing 5-of-7 3-pointers himself. He finished with a team-high 20 points. Quentin Snider (11.4 ppg, 3.8 apg) and Deng Adel (10.4 ppg, 4.4 rpg) both went rounded out the 3-point barrage by both going 2-of-3 from downtown. While 3-point shooting was the spotlight, don’t forget that Louisville’s amazing defense was able to hold GT to 50 points.
- 2-6 ATS in their last 8 road games
- 1-5-1 ATS in their last 7 games against ACC teams
- 4-1 ATS in their last 5 home games
- 6-2 ATS in their last 8 games overall
Something has to give with Pittsburgh’s offense taking on Louisville’s defense that holds 60.8 points per game (11th nationally). Assuming Adel is able to play, and he’s currently listed as probable after suffering a concussion last time out, the team should be fully loaded to cruise at home.
Pick: Louisville -12.5
Blogging journeyman and sports handicapper. His passion for statistics, analyzing team reports, and watching multiple hours of sports daily gives him an edge for picking who will beat the spread. Also writes about technology and video games. Hobbies include enjoying life in the big city, spending way too much time on YouTube, and discovering new craft beer and whisky.
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