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Louisville vs. UCONN Big East Football Pick

11/19/11

If the Cincinnati Bearcats go down against Rutgers the Big East will suddenly become a free fall. Two of the teams with a chance to win the BEAST and the BCS bid that comes with that honor are Louisville and Connecticut. Yes, these teams have a shot in deep season. Despite the talk of the weakness of the conference, every team has a chance to become bowl eligible and that is remarkable. The line on this game is anywhere from Louisville -1 to UCONN -1 depending on the book. So shop for the best odds.

Louisville shocked most everyone by taking down West Virginia two weeks ago in Morgantown. They are a very well coached team with Charlie Strong at the helm. He's got a few rings from his time with the Florida Gators. The Cardinals lack an offensive identity. They thrive on stopping the run are 12th in the nation Points Against at 12.6 PPG.

Connecticut is a team very similar to Louisville, but not as good; at least not on the surface. The Huskies lost many starters after last year's trip to the Fiesta Bowl. Despite that, they have not disgraced themselves with their play under a new HC so far in 2011. They have won 4 games and were competitive in all but 2 games this year.

A key factor in this game is going to be Louisville's consistency. They have a hard time putting a complete game together. For example, as previously stated the Cardinals are strong against the run. However, last week they allowed 200 rushing yards against Pittsburgh.

Against common opponents Louisville is 2-1 while UCONN is 1-2 with the biggest difference being West Virginia. Louisville beat West Virginia while UCONN not only lost, they were blown out, 43-16.

These two teams are near mirror images of each other statistically, with Louisville maintaining a slight edge across the board in most categories. Neither team has much of an offense while both teams have a pretty good defense.

Our model predicts a final score of 17-14 with UCONN on top. But rather than make a selection on the side in this one, the total may be the way to go. Louisville has played 10 games to date, and 9 of those saw point totals of 41 points or less. Our model predicts 31q total points and while it seems to easy, let's face it, these offenses for both teams have looked inept at times this year while both defenses have been very good. Under 40.5

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