College Football Odds, Picks, Predictions for Virginia vs. Louisville: Back Cards With Small Play

College Football Odds, Picks, Predictions for Virginia vs. Louisville: Back Cards With Small Play article feature image
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Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Louisville quarterback Malik Cunningham (3).

  • Virginia travels to Louisville to take on the Cardinals in a Week 6 ACC showdown.
  • Two dynamic quarterbacks in Brennan Armstrong and Malik Cunningham go head-to-head in what should be an action-packed game.
  • Shawn Burns breaks down the game from a betting perspective and makes his pick.

Virginia vs. Louisville Odds

Virginia Odds +2.5 (-110)
Louisville Odds -2.5 (-110)
Moneyline +112 / -136
Over/Under 69 (-112 / -109)
Time 3 p.m. ET
TV ACC Network
Odds via BetRivers. Get up-to-the-minute college football odds here.

The Atlantic Coast Conference is wide open for the first time in multiple seasons and Virginia and Louisville are right in the middle of the chaotic standings.

Neither team can afford a loss with Pittsburgh and Wake Forest leading the Coastal and Atlantic Divisions.

Virginia quarterback Brennan Armstrong and Louisville quarterback Malik Cunningham are elite players and both are having fantastic 2021 seasons.

Virginia has a 3-2 record after a wild win over Miami last weekend. The Hurricanes missed a chip shot field goal as time expired to hand the Cavaliers a key conference victory.

Virginia head coach Bronco Mendenhall is known as a defensive coach, but the offense has been the more efficient unit this season.

Louisville suffered a heartbreaking loss to Wake Forest on Saturday. The Cardinals had numerous opportunities to win the game and an unfortunate clock malfunction at the end of the second quarter didn’t go in their favor and ultimately led to three points for Wake Forest.

The loss snapped Louisville’s three-game winning streak and they now need a win Saturday to stay in the conference race.


Virginia vs. Louisville Betting Preview

Saturday, Oct. 9
3 p.m. ET
ACC Network

Virginia Cavaliers

Virginia Offense

Virginia’s Armstrong has been one of the top quarterbacks in the nation. He has 14 touchdowns in five games and has thrown for at least 268 yards in every game this season.

In their loss to North Carolina, he threw for 554 yards and four touchdowns.

Virginia is seventh in the country in total offense averaging 526 yards per game and second in the nation in passing yards.

Virginia only runs the ball on 39% of their snaps, so the passing game will again need to be in rhythm Saturday afternoon.


Virginia Defense

Virginia started the season allowing only 14 points in two games and then conference play began and the wheels fell off defensively.

The Cavaliers allowed 96 points in their first two ACC games, including 59 points to North Carolina.

It looks like the defense might have taken a step forward in the win over Miami, but it’s hard to determine because Hurricanes quarterback D’Eriq King wasn’t available because of a shoulder injury. The Virginia rush defense is ranked 110th in the country and they allow almost five yards per carry.

Malik Cunningham and the Louisville offense bring a different dynamic to the table with Cunningham’s ability to keep plays alive with his scrambling ability.

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Louisville Cardinals

Louisville Offense

The Cardinals’ offense is centered around Cunningham as he averages over 300 yards of total offense per game. The Redshirt Junior is playing the best football of his career and will be the focus of the Virginia defense.

Against Wake Forest, Louisville had 522 yards of total offense and moved the ball at will. Louisville running backs Jalen Mitchell and Trevion Cooley combined for 150 yards on the ground and helped ease some of the pressure off Cunningham.

If they can continue to run the ball efficiently, it will create play-action opportunities for the passing game and add another dimension to the offense.


Louisville Defense

The Louisville defense hasn’t played well this year and they will have their hands full with the Virginia passing attack.

The Cardinals allow 260 yards passing per game and they are 106th in the country in total defense allowing 435 yards per game. The red zone defense has been poor as well and is ranked 119th in the nation.

The schedule hasn’t been kind to Louisville as it has had to face a number of explosive offenses thus far.


Virginia vs. Louisville Matchup Analysis

Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how Virginia and Louisville match up statistically:

Virginia Offense vs. Louisville Defense

Offense

Defense

Edge

Rush Success 63 127
Line Yards 52 45
Pass Success 5 86
Pass Blocking** 20 110
Big Play 3 122
Havoc 66 96
Finishing Drives 3 104
**Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Louisville Offense vs. Virginia Defense

Offense

Defense

Edge

Rush Success 25 95
Line Yards 30 16
Pass Success 42 35
Pass Blocking** 22 119
Big Play 82 98
Havoc 24 100
Finishing Drives 79 118
**Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Pace of Play / Other
PFF Tackling 49 98
PFF Coverage 101 26
Middle 8 23 86
SP+ Special Teams 96 25
Plays per Minute 36 86
Rush Rate 39.1% (126) 53.8% (72)

Data via College Football Data, FootballOutsiders, SP+, PFF and SportSource Analytics.


Virginia vs. Louisville Betting Pick

Both offenses will have a major advantage Saturday at Cardinal Stadium and our matchup analysis points that out perfectly.

Bookmakers see that as well with the total for the game set at a high total of 69.5 points. Virginia does play fast, but Louisville is ranked 86th in the country in plays per minute and it runs the ball on 53% of its offensive plays.

The total of 69.5 is spot on, so I’m betting a side in this matchup and Cunningham will be the difference.

Louisville is playing at home where it is undefeated and its offense is starting to develop a reliable running game.

This won’t be a large play for me, but I’m taking the Cardinals to win and cover the two-point spread in a close game.

Pick: Louisville -2.5

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