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Virginia vs Louisville Odds and Picks

Jordan Horrobin

by Jordan Horrobin in College Basketball

Updated Mar 5, 2021 · 6:48 PM PST

Kody Stattmann dribbling while being defended
Virginia guard Kody Stattmann drives down court as Louisville's Samuel Williamson (10) defends play during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in Charlottesville, Va., Saturday, March 7, 2020. (AP Photo/Lee Luther Jr.)
  • #21 Virginia (16-6, 12-4 ACC) battles Louisville (13-5, 8-4 ACC) on Saturday, March 5, at 4pm ET
  • The Cavaliers have lost their past two road games, while the Cardinals have covered in three consecutive home games
  • The odds for the game, as well as matchup analysis and a pick, can be found in the article below

#21 Virginia and Louisville, a pair of teams on track to reach the NCAA tournament, close out their respective regular seasons on Saturday, March 6 in a 4pm ET game hosted by the Cardinals.

The Cavaliers have proven to be the better team on paper and in their performance when looking at the season as a whole, but the Cardinals have been the steadier bunch of late.

#21 Virginia vs Louisville Odds

Team Spread Moneyline Total
Virginia -2 (-110) -134 Over 122.5 (-106)
Louisville +2 (-110) +114 Under 122.5 (-116)

Odds as of March 5th at FanDuel

How They’ve Fared Recently

Virginia’s most recent game was a 62-51 win over a much weaker Miami (FL) team, but before that the Cavaliers lost three in a row — for the first time since Jan. 7-15, 2020 — against Florida State, Duke and NC State.

Maybe that’ll be a wakeup call for the fairly experienced Cavaliers (107th in NCAA Division I in experience), who are obviously led by a championship-caliber coach in Tony Bennett. We know Virginia can shoot (12th in effective field goal percentage, 56.2%; eighth in three-point percentage, 39.2%) but they’ve shown recently they can be beat.

In Monday’s win against the Hurricanes, Virginia held a steady second-half lead while keeping the turnover total low in a low-scoring game. A quintessential Virginia win to (possibly) get the Cavaliers back on track.

Louisville needn’t get back on track — they’re right where they want to be right now. The Cardinals are coming off a road overtime win over Duke (their second win over the Blue Devils in the past six weeks), which was their third win in their past four games.

The Cardinals aren’t nearly as adept at shooting as the Cavaliers (228th in effective field goal percentage, 48.8%), but they’ve been great at limiting other teams from the floor. Funny enough, though, Louisville’s best “defensive” stat is its allowed free throw percentage (65.4%, 10th in D-I). And that’s just straight up luck.

ATS Analysis

Virginia is 10-11-1 against the spread this season, which includes a 4-3-1 mark on the road. Recently, though, the Cavaliers are just 2-6-1 ATS, including 1-3-1 ATS on the road. The over has hit in three of their past four games.

Louisville is 9-8-1 ATS overall this year, with a 5-4-1 ATS record at home. The Cardinals have covered three of their past four games, as well as their past three home games. The under has hit in four of their past six.

Head-to-Head Matchup

Saturday marks the first (and likely only) meeting between Virginia and Louisville this season. Last year, the teams split their pair of matchups, with both winning straight up and ATS as home favorites.

Those games were very tight. Louisville covered as 6.5-point favorites in an 80-73 win. Virginia later covered as two-point favorites in a 57-54 victory.

YouTube video

The Cardinals are vastly different from their 2019-20 iteration, with just one returning starter (they’re 324th in D-I in minutes continuity). The Cavaliers returned three starters and are 158th in D-I in minutes continuity.

Virginia’s recent ATS woes are a bit concerning, but the spread here is tight — and one they should cover, as a nice tune-up for the ACC tournament.

Pick: Virginia -2 (-110)

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