Louisville Football Predictions

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Louisville is coming off an amazing run in 2012. The Cardinals opened up the season 9-0 before losing back-to-back games against Syracuse and Connecticut. The would earn a spot in a BCS Bowl with a 20-17 win over Rutgers in the season finale. Louisville then surprised everyone by knocking off Florida 33-23 in the Sugar Bowl (14-point underdogs) to finish up at 11-2.

With 16 starters returning, including 10 on the defensive side of the ball, the expectations are at an all-time high in Louisville heading into 2013. The Cardinals will be the clear-cut favorites to win the newly formed American Athletic Conference and have a realistic shot at finishing with a perfect 12-0 record.

The fact that the Cardinals had six wins by seven-points or less and finished up at +12 in the turnover department are warning signs that things might not go as planned. On the other hand, this team was tops in the Big East at +83.1 ypg and will be playing a much weaker schedule. They also have a ton of experience coming back, including one of the early Heisman favorites in quarterback Teddy Bridgewater.

Last Season
Big East
Record
ATS Record
Over/Under
Points For
Points Against
T-1st
11-2
6-6-1
7-5
31.2
23.8
Key Numbers for 2013
Returning Starters
Returning to Offense
Returning to Defense
4 Year Recruiting Rank
Strength of Schedule
16
6
10
3.845
29th
90th
Head Coach Charlie Strong
Overall
ATS
Home
Home ATS
Road
Road ATS
32-19
28-23-0
17-9
11-15-0
13-6
14-5-0
Bowl Games
Bowl Games ATS
Off of a Bye
Off of a Bye ATS
Off of a Loss
Off of a Loss ATS
2-2
2-2
2-2
2-2
12-5
12-5
2013 Schedule
2013 Louisville Cardinals Schedule
Date Opponent
Spread (Est.)
Win Chance
9/1 Ohio
-21.5
1
9/7 Eastern Kentucky
-35
1
9/14 @ Kentucky
-14
0.89
9/21 FIU
-24
1
10/5 @ Temple
-17
1
10/10 Rutgers
-10
0.77
10/18 UCF
-11
0.83
10/26 @ USF
-13
0.87
11/8 @ Connecticut
-10.5
0.82
11/16 Houston
-17
1
11/23 Memphis
-24
1
12/5 @ Cincinnati
-3
0.56
Estimated Wins: 10.74

The first thing that should jump out when looking over the Cardinals schedule, is the fact that they are expected to be favored in every game. What’s really surprising is that they are double-digit favorite in every contest except for their road game at Cincinnati in the regular season finale.

The Cardinals are at least a 14-point favorite in each of their four non-conference games. While they shouldn’t have any trouble getting past Eastern Kentucky and FIU at home, I could see them getting tested by Ohio at home and at Kentucky.

The conference portion of the schedule is certainly in the Cardinals favor. They get three of the top contenders in the American Athletic at home in Rutgers, UCF and Houston.It also helps that three of their four road games come against teams who are expected to finish in the bottom half of the standings.

Whether or not they run the table will likely come down to that road game at Cincinnati. There’s also got to be a little concern with the road game at Connecticut, as the Huskies stunned the Cardinals 23-20 in triple-overtime last year.

Odds
Regular Season Win Total
American Athletic Championship Odds
National Championship Odds
10.5
3 to 5
22 to 1
Odds Courtesty of Bovada
Season Predictions

I don’t think there’s any doubt that this is the best team head coach Charlie Strong will field in his four years at Louisville. With the way the schedule sets up I honestly think anything less than perfect season will be a disappointment. Exceeding expectations is one thing, living up to them is a whole different story. Whether or the Cardinals go 12-0 will likely come down to their ability to handle the pressure and media attention, as they are clearly the most talented team in the conference.

In order to run the table in any conference, you typically need to have outstanding quarterback play and a top notch defense. The Cardinal have both of these things. Bridgewater completed 68.5% of his attempts for 3,718 yards with 27 touchdowns to just 8 interceptions as a sophomore. If he continues to improve like everyone is anticipating, opposing defenses have no chance of stopping the Cardinals from putting up big numbers. At the same time they have 10 starters back on a defense that allowed just 23.8 ppg on 340 yards of total offense.

While I’m calling for Louisville to live up to the hype and deliver a perfect season, I would be extremely cautious when thinking about backing the Cardinals against the spread this season. As much as I like this team, they aren’t going to win 11 of their 12 games by double-digits. In fact, I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if Louisville finished with a loser record against the spread.

2013 Projections
American Athletic
American Athletic Record
Overall Record
Win Total Prediction
1st
8-0
12-0
Over (10.5)
Louisville Football Resources
More Louisville Football Predictions

More College Football Predictions

American Athletic
Cincinnati Connecticut Houston Louisville Memphis
Rutgers SMU Temple UCF USF
Conferences
ACC Big 12 American Athletic Big Ten
Conference USA Independents MAC Mountain West
Pac-12 SEC Sun Belt

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About the Author: Jimmy Boyd is known for his consistency. He's a proven winner in college and pro football, college and pro basketball and pro baseball. He finished as the No. 1 ranked MLB handicapper in 2007 by earning $1,000/game bettors $50,050. He also finished as the No. 1 ranked basketball handicapper in the 2008-09 season, profiting $1,000/game bettors 38,530. His basketball plays have banked $1,000/game bettors nearly $80,000 the last five years. Check out Jimmy's premium picks for tonight!
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