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#1 Louisville Favored by Seven Over Struggling Texas Tech at MSG

Blair Johnson

by Blair Johnson in College Basketball

Updated Apr 7, 2020 · 2:14 PM PDT

Madison Square Garden in New York
Madison Square Garden in New York will play host to the 2019 Jimmy V Classic on Tuesday, Dec. 10. Photo by Ajay Suresh (wikimedia commons)
  • No. 1 Louisville is favored by seven points over Texas Tech at Madison Square Garden in the 2019 Jimmy V Classic (Tue, Dec. 10)
  • The Cardinals are 9-0 this season and still ranked #1 after beating Michigan and Pittsburgh last week
  • The Red Raiders started out 5-0, but have lost three straight (including two in overtime)

No. 1 Louisville is favored by seven points over Texas Tech at Madison Square Garden on Tuesday in the Jimmy V Classic. The game is scheduled to tip at 7:00 PM ET.

The Cardinals are 9-0 this season and remained in the top spot in the AP Poll after wins over Michigan and Pittsburgh last week. Meanwhile, the Red Raiders started out the 2019-20 campaign 5-0 , but have lost three straight (including two in overtime).

Louisville Cardinals vs Texas Tech Raiders Odds

Team Moneyline Spread Over/Under
Louisville TBD -7.0 (-120) O 128.0 (-110)
Texas Tech TBD +7.0 (+100) U 128.0 (-110)

Odds as of Dec. 9

Louisville has it rolling against the spread of late, sporting a 3-0 mark since Thanksgiving.  Meanwhile, Tech has hit a rough patch in the last week-plus, sporting an opposite 0-3 ATS (and SU) record.

That’s one of the reasons why the Louisville vs Texas Tech odds have the Cardinals as a seven-point favorite on a neutral court. After all, this is a group that is the new betting favorite at +750 to win it all in the 2020  NCAA Tournament odds.

But will Chris Mack knock off Chris Beard under the bright lights in the Big Apple? Let’s analyze this intriguing ACC-Big 12 tilt and make a prediction.

Cardinals Rule

As noted above, Louisville is coming off a week that saw it beat previously unbeaten Michigan, 58-43, and also cruise by Pittsburgh, 64-46.

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The win over the Panthers was especially impressive. The Cards shot 11-of-26 from beyond the arc and every player that played at least one minute knocked down a three.

The team is ranked No. 2 at KenPom.com and is rated third-best in defensive efficiency and fifth in offensive efficiency.  Louisville is hitting on all cylinders right now.

Familiar Surroundings

Even though Tuesday’s game is at a neutral site, Louisville has a rich and successful history at The World’s Most Famous Arena. UL owns a 17-9 record at MSG since 2005 (when they joined the Big East) and won three Big East tourney titles there prior to moving on to the ACC.

Let’s take a walk down memory lane of that 2013 championship.

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While the program’s last two titles in 2012 and 2013 were vacated due to scandal, then-head coach Rick Pitino’s program was right at home at the former Knicks boss’ old stomping grounds.

Tuesday provides a clean slate of sorts to enjoy victory at a familiar venue.

Plus, it’s an opportunity to show how far Mack’s program has come on national TV against what has become another upstart program in Tech, as Beard has built a virtual national power in Lubbock in short order.

5-3 Could Be 8-0

As Beard pointed out this week, his team’s record is misleading. “We’ve been in three really close, one-possession games where a basket or a stop there and our record and our mood feels a lot different,” Beard told Field Level Media. “To me, you stay the course. We could be sitting here with an 8-0 record instead of three losses, but we’re still the same team.”

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Plus, in that 65-60 overtime loss to DePaul on the road and 83-76 overtime loss to Creighton (which came on the heels of another narrow defeat to Iowa the previous night in the Las Vegas Invitational), the Red Raiders were without Jahmi’us Ramsey.

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All the freshman (who was recruited by Louisville) has done in the six games he’s played is average over 17 points and nearly six rebounds a game. He’s a difference-maker. If he plays, I like Texas Tech to pull the upset and win. Even without him, I think the Red Raiders will keep it close against a Cardinals team that is due for a little letdown.

Picks: Texas Tech ML (if Ramsey plays); Texas Tech +7 if Ramsey is out

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