Today's Free Picks for
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Posted at 2:45 PM EST and odds are subject to change.
Louisville +180 over Central Florida
FBC Mortgage Stadium - Orlando, FL
7:30 PM EST. Those that faded Louisville last week at Syracuse were strutting to the pay window, as the Cardinals dropped a 31-7 decision as a 5½-point road favorite. If you watched College GameDay, you saw that nobody on that panel could bring themselves to pick the Orange at home.
The entire world was backing the Cardinals in a high-profile prime-time game and watched them get whacked. Now, Louisville is back under the lights in a stand-alone prime-time game on ESPN 2. We trust the appetite for these Cardinals has changed dramatically.
On the Central Florida side, the Knights frog-stomped South Carolina State, a very weak program, 56-10. UCF would cover the closing line of 43½, but there wasn’t really much to be gained from that game. It was a glorified practice and if the 10 penalties for 85 yards are a sign of things to come for Gus Malzahn's team, they need to get their heads out of their asses, because they are taking a big step up in competition here. You can’t be that undisciplined against a quality program and be expected to cover an inflated number.
From a straight numbers game, the Cardinals moving from a 5½-point favorite to the price you see now is a significant double-digit swing. That isn’t the only box this game checks, but it is one of them. Louisville checks a lot of boxes this week. There is a market overreaction to their dismal game in Syracuse. That’s reflected pretty clearly in this line.
Week 2 is often the best time to take advantage of those market reactions to Week 1 results. UCF covering a huge spread and putting up a 50-burger only pushes the market further in their direction. How can the Knights not cover this number? It’s going to be very appealing to walk up to the window and bet UCF knowing you can cash that ticket with a converted touchdown. However, we all know better. Rarely are wagers so easily won. One could take back these points, but this is a game that Louisville can win. There’s too much value not to play it that way. Cardinals for the W.
Louisville +180 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 3.60)