Louisville Cardinals vs Minnesota Golden Gophers Pick

March 21, 12:15 PM EDT

Betting Odds

Point Spread: 
Louisville -5.5

Sixth place in the ACC takes on seventh place in the Big Ten when Louisville meets Minnesotain an NCAA tournament East regional bout Thursday afternoon in Des Moines (12:15 pm ET, CBS). The Cardinals are favored by a handful on the NCAA tournament betting board, but the Gophers are playing the better ball as of late. Who do we like for our free NCAA tournament pick?

The Line

The NCAA tournament betting odds opened Louisville at -5 over Minnesota, with an over/under of 134. In early betting action, the spread was holding steady, while the total jumped to 136.

Bettors wishing to eschew the spread could get the Cardinals at around -215 on the money line, with the Gophers getting upwards of +185 to win this game outright.

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Cardinals-Gophers Betting Preview

No. 7 seed Louisville (20-13 SU, 17-15-1 ATS) struggled a bit down the stretch this season, losing four of its last five games to finish 10-8 in an ACC that sends seven teams to the Big Dance. The Cardinals then beat Notre Dame 75-53 in the second round of the ACC tournament, then lost to North Carolina in the quarterfinals 83-70. Nonetheless, Louisville is back in the NCAA tournament after missing out last season.

No. 10 seed Minnesota (21-13 SU, 17-17 ATS) won two of its last three games to finish 9-11 in a Big Ten that sends eight teams to the Dance. The Gophers then outlasted Penn State in double-overtime in the second round of the Big Ten tournament, then upset Big Ten regular-season co-champion Purdue in the quarterfinals 75-73. Minnesota then got mugged by Michigan in the semifinals 76-49 but nonetheless is also back in the NCAA tournament after missing out last season.

NCAA Tournament Betting Trends

  • On the season the Cardinals are 5-10 SU, 7-7-1 ATS against teams that made the NCAA tournament, with wins over Michigan State, Seton Hall and North Carolina and close losses to Marquette, Florida State, Duke, and Virginia.
  • Louisville is also 5-4 ATS this season when favored by single digits.
  • The Gophers are 5-9 SU, 7-7 ATS this season against teams that made the Dance, with wins over Washington and Wisconsin and two over Purdue.
  • Minnesota is also 9-7 ATS this season as an underdog.

Recent History

These programs met most recently four seasons ago, an 81-68 Cardinals victory. But that outcome means absolutely nothing as far as handicapping Thursday's game goes.

Totals Report

The unders are 18-15-1 in Minnesota games this season, which are averaging 140 total points. Unders are also 5-3 over the Gophers' last eight games.

The unders are 18-14-1 in Louisville games this season, which are averaging 142 points. Unders are also 6-2 over the Cardinals' last eight games.

Louisville vs Minnesota Prediction 03/21/2019

The records are nearly the same, as are some of the splits, but Louisville gets the check-mark on defense and from the free-throw line, shooting 78 percent. And those free throws come in real handy when trying to ice a game and cover a spread.

Free Pick: 
We're giving the points here with the Cardinals. -5.5

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