Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (8-10) at Louisville Cardinals (15-3)
NCAA Basketball: Wednesday, January 22nd, 2020 at 7:00 pm ET (KFC Yum! Center)
Line and Odds: Louisville Cardinals -13.5 Over/Under: 132.5
Free ESPN NCAA Basketball Picks Louisville Cardinals vs. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets
The Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets are trying to find their bearings in the loaded Atlantic Coast Conference. Georgia Tech is currently in 11th-place in the ACC standings. They are only ahead of 4 schools in the ACC: Notre Dame, Miami, Wake Forest, and North Carolina. The good news for the Yellow Jackets is that the middle of the ACC is packed. At this early/middle stage of the conference schedule, the difference between the 4th-place team (NC State) and the 11th-place Jackets is just 2 games.
Overall, they have a record of just 8-10. A losing record certainly doesn’t make the fans of the Rambling Wreck happy in 2020. However, it might be more excusable when you consider the collective strength of their schedule. According to Ken Pomeroy’s rating, Georgia Tech has played the 11th toughest schedule in the nation. Just 2 (Elon and Bethune Cookman) of their 18 opponents rank in the bottom half of Division I basketball, according to the Massey Ratings.
Unlike some schools, Georgia Tech didn’t load up their schedule with cupcakes and easy wins. Notably, they’ve played Arkansas, at Kentucky, at Georgia, and Houston in the non-conference. To this point, they’ve also played North Carolina State (their best win of the season, so far), at Florida State, and Duke. While they’ve challenged themselves with a tough schedule, they don’t have a lot of positive results to show for it. Aside from NC State, they have been unable to beat a team ranked in Massey Ratings’ top 100. It is a lot to ask of the Yellow Jackets to travel to Louisville and beat the Cardinals.
The Yellow Jackets rank 86th in adjusted net rating (when adjusted for schedule), outscoring teams by 12.33 points per 100 possessions. They are 32nd in adjusted defensive rating, allowing 87.63 points per 100 possessions. While their defense is strong, their offense has been sub-par. Georgia Tech is 174th in adjusted offensive rating, scoring 99.96 points per 100 possessions.
Chris Mack’s 2nd year as head coach of the Louisville Cardinals has been a successful one. Louisville is ranked 6th in the Top 25 Associated Press College Basketball poll after reaching #1 earlier in the year. The Cardinals entered the season ranked 5th, so it’s fair to say that Louisville is living up to expectations. They have a record of 15-3 overall and a 6-1 record in ACC play. That 6-1 mark places them in a tie for 1st in the ACC with the Florida State Seminoles.
Before last Saturday’s game against Duke, there were questions about how strong Louisville actually is. The only strong non-conference win they have on their resume is a 58-43 home win against Michigan. Some of the luster of that win has worn off in recent weeks because of how poorly Michigan has played since then. The Cardinals lost their other two high-profile non-conference matchups with a loss to Texas Tech in Madison Square Garden 70-57 and an overtime road loss at Kentucky 78-70.
They had a 5-1 ACC record prior to the Duke game, but they were beating up on the bottom portion of the ACC (Pittsburgh 2x, Miami 2x, Notre Dame). Louisville lost their 1st matchup with ACC co-leader Florida State 78-65 at home. However, they really showed their potential against then-#3 Duke, winning in Cameron Indoor Stadium 79-73. This win jumped them from 11th to 6th in the AP Poll. If they can play like they did against Duke on Saturday night, they are a true national championship contender.
Louisville ranks 11th in adjusted net rating, outscoring the average team by 28.31 points per 100 possessions. The Cardinals rank 12th in adjusted offensive rating, scoring 114.03 points per 100 possessions (adjusting for schedule). Louisville ranks 25th in adjusted defensive rating, allowing just 85.73 points per 100 possessions.
Cover The Spread 365 Betting Trends
The total has gone UNDER in 11 of Georgia Tech’s last 15 games.
Georgia Tech is 0-8 SU in their last 8 games against Louisville.
Georgia Tech are 7-1 ATS in their last 8 games on the road.
Louisville is 2-4 ATS in their last 6 games.
The total has gone UNDER in 6 of Louisville’s last 7 games against Georgia Tech.
Louisville is 11-1 SU in their last 12 games at home.
ESPN NCAA Basketball Scores Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets vs. Louisville Cardinals
I’m taking the Louisville Cardinals to cover the spread in this matchup. The Cardinals made me a believer with their road win against Duke. I had my doubts about Louisville as a true contender, but they finally stepped up and grabbed an undisputed signature win. Louisville is a slightly better team than Georgia Tech on the defensive end, but the defenses are pretty comparable. The real gap can be explained by the wide difference in offensive abilities. Louisville ranks 12th in adjusted offensive rating, while Georgia Tech ranks 174th. The Cardinals’ offense will have the edge against the Yellow Jackets, and GT will have a great deal of trouble stopping forward Jordan Nwora. The 6’7” junior averages 19.6 points and 7.4 rebounds per game. Louisville ranks 12th in the nation in 3-point shooting, hitting 38.7% of their 3-point shots. GT will have some trouble stopping sharp-shooters like Nwora and Ryan McMahon from beyond the arc. On the other end of the floor, Georgia Tech will have no answer for Louisville’s packline defense. The Yellow Jackets ranks 212nd in effective field goal percentage (49.3%) and 345th in offensive turnover percentage (20.4%). Louisville’s defense ranks 10th in effective field goal defense (42.7%). Don’t expect Georgia Tech to score much in this game.