Louisville vs NC State Pick & Prediction: Target Team Total

Louisville vs NC State Pick & Prediction: Target Team Total article feature image
Credit:

Via Andy Lyons/Getty Images. Pictured: DJ Burns Jr #30 of the NC State Wolfpack celebrates in the second half in the 89-83 win over the Louisville Cardinals at KFC YUM! Center on January 13, 2024 in Louisville, Kentucky.

Louisville vs NC State Pick & Prediction

Tuesday, March 12
4:30 p.m. ET
ACC Network
Louisville Odds
SpreadTotal PointsMoneyline
+9.5
-110
148.5
-110o / -110u
+375
NC State Odds
SpreadTotal PointsMoneyline
-9.5
-110
148.5
-110o / -110u
-500
Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NCAAB odds here.

The NC State Wolfpack enter the ACC tournament coming off a disappointing season. The expectations were not astronomically high, but there were a few who believed they could make some noise in conference play.

The Wolfpack had several chances to defeat the top teams in the conference, but they let those games slip away. Conference tournaments have the beauty of being a hard reset for some teams, so it'll be interesting to see how Kevin Keatts' team responds.

On the other end, the Louisville Cardinals were expected to finish near the bottom of the conference. While they flashed some promise during a few stretches of the season, overall they were a bad basketball team, and they have lost seven consecutive games entering the ACC tournament.


Louisville Cardinals

The Cardinals were expected to be a bad basketball team, and sure enough, they delivered. They finished with the second-worst Offensive Efficiency and were dead last in Defensive Efficiency in the ACC.

It has been a frustrating time for the Cardinals' fan base, and despite a couple of glimmers of hope throughout the year, there is no reason to get amped up for the ACC Tournament. They looked like a team that had quit a few weeks back, and nothing has suggested that is not the case during the current seven-game losing streak.

The matchup on the defensive end is troubling for the Cardinals. They are 205th in Adjusted Defensive Efficiency going up against a strong Wolfpack offense.

The Wolfpack have struggled to score inside, but they protect the basketball consistently and are an average 3-point shooting team. Any decent opponent with talent on offense should make the Cardinals pay as Louisville ranks outside the top 340 in the nation in 3-point percentage defense.

Offensively, the path to a cover relies on the Cardinals' ability to get to the foul line. It is the lone bright spot of their offense, and they shoot 74% from the charity stripe.

However, I cannot back the Cardinals given how bad they've looked over the past month. The matchup is not a favorable one, and they appear to be a team that has turned the page to next season.


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NC State Wolfpack

The Wolfpack have a tasty offensive matchup here, and there is a lot to like about their chances of scoring at will. Their offensive numbers are not the most attractive, but the Cardinals make any offense look like Kentucky on most nights.

The offense typically funnels through big man DJ Burns, who should have a massive game against the poor Louisville interior defense. Burns has been shaky at times for the Wolfpack, but he is dominant enough to carry the offense throughout the entire game.

The Wolfpack are not reliant on the 3, but guards DJ Horne and Jayden Taylor are both shooting above 35% from deep. With Horne and Burns being seniors, it is their last chance to make an impact on the court at the collegiate level.

Despite this being a great matchup for the NC State defense, I have concerns. The Wolfpack are not a strong defensive rebounding team, which could lead to second-chance scoring opportunities.

They've been torched from the outside all season, allowing opponents to shoot 35% from deep. They are certainly due for some good fortune in that area, but it is something to keep in mind against a Cardinals team that shoots below 30% from beyond the arc.

The Wolfpack are clearly the better team, but due to some uncertainty on defense, I lean toward the Wolfpack laying the points, but it is not an appetizing number that I would willingly take.


Louisville vs. NC State

Betting Pick & Prediction

Instead of targeting the game spread or total, I really like the Wolfpack Team Total Over. They like to run their offense at a fast pace, and the Cardinals do as well.

Considering the tempo should be fast, the Wolfpack should have plenty of easy and quick transition buckets that will pile up throughout the game. The Wolfpack do not rebound the basketball well, but considering how awful the Cardinals are, I would like to think they should still get plenty of transition opportunities.

It is a terrific matchup for the Wolfpack's interior offense, and consequently, Burns should eat all afternoon long. I would not be surprised to see a blowout, but I'll happily take the safest approach and solely rely on the Wolfpack offense to bring us a winner.

Pick: NC State Team Total Over

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