Cincinnati Bearcats at Louisville Cardinals Point Spread Pick
Point spread: Louisville -9.5
The top two teams in the AAC square-off this Thursday night when the No. 13 Cincinnati Bearcats and the No. 18 Louisville Cardinals clash at the KFC Yum! Center. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. (ET) and the game will be broadcast nationally on ESPN.
Bearcats vs. Cardinals Game Overview
The Bearcats climbed to No. 13 in the latest AP poll on the strength of a 12-game straight-up winning streak that includes a perfect 8-0 mark in conference play. They have gone just 2-4 against the spread in their last six games to fall to 8-6-1 ATS on the year. This past Sunday they beat Temple 80-76 but could not cover as 7.5-point favorites on the road. Cincinnati is a costly 1-5 ATS on the road this season and the total has stayed UNDER in five of those games.
Scoring on this team begins and ends with the play of Sean Kilpatrick, who is averaging 19.1 points a game, but keep a close eye on the playing status of Justin Jackson. He is scoring 11.1 points and pulling down a team-high seven rebounds, but remains day-to-day for Thursday's game with a sore ankle. The Bearcats are averaging 71.2 points a game while holding teams to 56.9 points on the other end of the court. They are shooting 43.1 percent from the field and 33.9 percent from 3-point range.
Louisville has strung together four straight victories in conference play ever since suffering a stunning 73-67 loss to No. 22 Memphis on Jan. 9 as a 10.5-point home favorite. The Cardinals are 17-3 SU on the year with a 6-1 record in the AAC. They have covered in their last three games to climb above .500 ATS to 10-8. The total has stayed UNDER in four of their last five contests including two of three games at home.
The Cardinals' numbers remain solid across the board with 83.2 points and 39.1 rebounds a game while shooting 47.2 percent from the field and 37.5 percent from beyond the arc. Russ Smith leads the team in both points (18.1) and assists (4.8) with Montrezl Harrell chipping in another 12.1 points and 8.5 rebounds. Louisville's third-leader scorer, Chris Jones remains questionable for this game after missing his last three starts with a strained oblique.
Cincinnati vs. Louisville Betting Trends
The Bearcats are 3-4-1 ATS in conference play this season and the total has stayed UNDER in 13 of their 15 games with a posted line.
The Cardinals have covered in six of 10 home games this year and they are 4-3 ATS in the AAC. The total has stayed UNDER in four of those seven conference games.
Head-to-head, Cincinnati is just 2-7 SU in the last nine meetings but it has covered in four of the last six games. The Bearcats are 9-4 ATS in their last 13 road games against Louisville and the total has stayed UNDER in the last five meetings there.
Point Spread Pick
The playing status of Jackson aside, I really like Cincinnati's chances to keep this game deep into the second half. While the Bearcats may not come away with the SU win, the top play in this matchup is to take the 9.5 points on the road.