On Saturday, the No. 10 Louisville Cardinals will take on the No. 22 Virginia Cavaliers in a game between two ranked ACC teams. With this being the final game of the regular season, both teams can improve their ranking with a win on Saturday night.
There are multiple incentives for the Cardinals to win this one, one of which being an improved rank heading into March Madness. The second being, they have the chance to claim their first ACC regular-season title since joining the conference. Louisville is tied with Florida State atop the conference heading into Saturday.
Virginia will look to spoil Louisville’s chances of sharing the ACC title with Florida State. Saturday will be Senior Day for two of Virginia’s starters, and sending them out with a win against a conference rival is exactly what the Cavaliers look to do.
Virginia comes in as only a one-point favorite in this game, given Louisville could be missing players. So, do the Cardinals claim an ACC title, or will the Cavaliers spoil it for them? More importantly, who should you bet on?
Cardinals look to claim first ACC title
The final game of the regular season marks an opportunity for Louisville to claim the ACC regular-season title and improve their ranking. To do this, they’ll have to take down the Cavaliers. Unfortunately for the Cardinals, they could potentially be down two players in this one.
Coming off a big win against Virginia Tech, the Cardinals now have their eyes set on the Cavaliers. Jordan Nwora, the team’s leading scorer, put up 20 points and 12 rebounds against Virginia Tech and will have to repeat that performance against a much tougher Cavaliers team.
An important thing to note in this game is Louisville’s 6-4 road record, the last road game they played was against sixth-ranked Florida State. Louisville came up short in that one, losing 82-67. Also, take into consideration that the Cardinals could be down Malik Williams on Saturday afternoon.
The most important factor in this game for bettors is Louisville’s record against the spread. Sitting at just over .500, the Cardinals are 15-14-1 ATS. More importantly, they have an ATS road record of 4-6, giving bettors little confidence when the Cardinals travel.
Virginia looking to crush Cardinals hopes
The Cavaliers are looking to end their Senior Day on a high note by upsetting the Cardinals and sending their seniors off the right way. This is definitely an easier said than done situation as the Cardinals have one of the best teams in the league. To be fair, Virginia is no slouch either, with a 22-7 record and sitting in a third-place tie in the ACC standings.
The Cavaliers come into Saturday afternoon on a seven-game win streak, with their most notable win over No. 7 Duke. Virginia has the chance to finish their season on an eight-game win streak, not losing a game since early February. Here’s the thing though, that game they lost in early February was to Louisville on the road.
The Cavaliers played great in that game, Tomas Woldetensae put up 27 points, but despite his efforts, the Cavaliers lost 80-73. They’ll need a repeat performance from their team in this one, but the good news is they’ll likely not have to worry about Malik Williams.
Virginia has been much worse against the spread than Louisville, well below .500 at 12-16-1 with a home ATS record of 6-10. Take into consideration that they’ve stepped it up recently, going 5-1 ATS in their last six games. The last time they played Louisville, they were +7, and the game ended as a push.
Pick and Prediction
There might be some disagreement on this one, but it’s pretty clear cut. Louisville will be missing Malik Williams, who put up 13 against Virginia the last time they played.
Don’t forget, since that loss, Virginia hasn’t surrendered a game and has gone 5-1 against the spread in their last six. Look for Virginia to make it eight straight wins and spoil Louisville’s hopes of the ACC title, Virginia Cavaliers -1.