Louisville-Minnesota Betting Odds: Opening Spread, Analysis for 2019 NCAA Tournament

Louisville-Minnesota Betting Odds: Opening Spread, Analysis for 2019 NCAA Tournament article feature image

Jeremy Brevard, USA Today Sports. Pictured: Dwayne Sutton

#7 Louisville vs. #10 Minnesota NCAA Tournament Betting Odds

  • Spread: Louisville -4.5
  • Over/Under: 133.5
  • Date: Thursday, March 21
  • Time: 12:15 p.m. ET
  • Location: Des Moines, Iowa
  • TV: CBS

Louisville’s Statistical Profile

Louisville faced a tough regular season schedule this year. KenPom ranked its strength of schedule 12th in the nation, as the Cardinals were lined up against non-conference opponents like Tennessee, Marquette, Michigan State and Kentucky, on top of their ACC schedule which included two games apiece with Virginia and UNC.

Still, Louisville clawed its way through the map to a finish sixth in the ACC at 10-8. The Cardinals put together two impressive road wins at UNC and Virginia Tech as 11- and 5-point underdogs, respectively. The lasting memory of their season, though, had to be their two-point loss to Duke.

Up 23 points with just over nine minutes to go, Louisville imploded and was outscored 35-10 down the stretch, falling 71-69 to the then No. 2 Blue Devils.

This is Louisville’s second straight tournament appearance, and 14th in the past 16 years. Since 2005, the Cardinals are 19-18 against the spread in the Big Dance, but of course, this will be their first run under new head coach Chris Mack. — Danny Donahue

  • Record: 20-13
  • Adj. Efficiency Rank: 18
  • Adj. Offensive Efficiency Rank: 29
  • Adj. Defensive Efficiency Rank: 16
  • Tempo Rank: 194

All advanced metrics via KenPom as of Friday, March 15

Minnesota’s Statistical Profile

Despite getting pummeled by Michigan, 76-49, in the Big Ten Conference Tournament, Minnesota did enough to earn a bid to the NCAA Tournament without needing to sweat on Selection Sunday.

The Golden Gophers are a relatively balanced squad, ranking 53rd and 43rd, respectively, in KenPom’s Adjusted Offensive and Defensive Efficiency metrics.

Guard Amir Coffey leads the team in scoring at 16.3 ppg, while F Jordan Murphy is averaging a double-double with 14.8 ppg and 11.5 rpg. Both will be heavily relied upon in the Big Dance for a team that has lost eight of its past 13 games, especially considering Minnesota’s poor seeding and the road it will have to take to advance deep into the tournament. — PJ Walsh

  • Record: 23-14
  • Adj. Efficiency Rank: 47
  • Adj. Offensive Efficiency Rank: 53
  • Adj. Defensive Efficiency Rank: 43
  • Tempo Rank: 177

All advanced metrics via KenPom as of Friday, March 15

Louisville-Minnesota Instant Bracket, Betting Picks

Picking Minnesota may be tempting because they’ve gotten some publicity recently. The Golden Gophers beat Purdue at home and stormed the court, then beat the Boilermakers again in the B10 tournament. But the fact remains that away from home, the Gophers’ splits are abysmal — look no further than losses to Nebraska, Illinois and Rutgers.

Minnesota simply cannot be trusted in any road or neutral court situation, especially against a coach in Louisville’s Chris Mack, who has had a lot of NCAA Tournament success at Xavier. One thing working in Minnesota’s favor, though, is that Louisville fouls a lot, and Minnesota was one of the best schools in the Big 10 at getting to the line. Depending on how the game is officiated, that could create an opening for Minnesota to have success. Short of that, I like the Cardinals.

Early ATS lean: Louisville
Early bracket pick: Louisville — Locky

Sean Koerner’s Louisville-Minnesota Projections

Sean Koerner’s proprietary projections also power our Bracket Simulator, which helps you find the most optimal bracket for your pool size.

  • Spread: Louisville -4
  • Total: 135
  • Proj Score: Louisville 69.5 | Minnesota 65.5
  • Win Probability: Louisville 64% | Minnesota 36%
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