Contrarian bettors will certainly be attracted to this game as it involves two teams heading in seemingly opposite directions. Louisville arrives in town having won and covered four of its last 5 games, whereas the Panthers take the floor on a four-game slide.
Pittsburgh has also failed to cover the point spread in three of its last 4 games. Despite those negative technical trends, I’m still making Pittsburgh my free sports pick for Tuesday, January 24.
Pittsburgh possesses a solid attack that is averaging 79.0 points per game (38.3% 3-PT%) against teams that would combine to allow just 70.3 points per game to an average offense. More importantly, the Panthers are 9-2 SU at home this season where they are averaging 84.3 points per game on 48.6% shooting from the field and 42.4% from beyond the arc.
I also like the fact that Pittsburgh is making 71.8% of its free throw attempts, including 72.6% at home. In contrast, the Cardinals are shooting just 68.3% from the charity stripe this season. Let’s also note that Louisville remains without guard Quentin Snider, who suffered a hip flexor strain last week and is expected to miss up to three weeks of action.
The absence of Snider is significant in that he was averaging 12.1 points and 4.0 assists per game prior to being injured, including scoring 22 points in the Cardinals’ 85-80 win over Pittsburgh on January 11. Louisville is averaging just 69.0 points per game on 39.9% shooting from the floor away from home this season.
Pittsburgh has also proven to be a reliable home underdog, posting a solid 7-3-1 ATS record when getting points at home. Meanwhile, Louisville is a fat and happy road favorite entering tonight’s game having won three of its last 4 games, which is relevant in that the Cardinals are 1-8 ATS in their last nine road affairs when taking the court under these precise circumstances.
Finally, Louisville head coach Rick Pitino is 24-35 ATS following a loss by six points or less, whereas Pittsburgh head coach Gene Stallings is 47-29 ATS following a loss by six points or less. Take Pittsburgh plus the points as Oskeim Sports’ Free Sports Pick for Tuesday, January 24. Good luck!
Oskeim Sports’ Free College Basketball Sports Pick: Pittsburgh (+6) (-110)