The Louisville Cardinals hope to ensure a bowl game this week when they host the Virginia Cavaliers. Kickoff is at 3:30 EST on Saturday, November 11 at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium in Louisville, Kentucky. The game can be seen on ESPNU.
Oddsmakers list the Cardinals as 10.5-point favorites at home. The over/under for the game is set at 64.5 points. Click here to check out a full list of Week 11 betting odds and links to game previews.
Virginia vs Louisville Vegas Betting Line & Game Preview
Louisville’s season has not gone at all like expected. The Cardinals have lost three of their last four games, dropping them to 5-4 overall and 2-4 inside the ACC. Louisville just needs one win in their final three games to solidify a bowl spot. But a loss either this week or next week would mean a losing record in conference play and a possible last-place finish in the Atlantic division.
Virginia, on the other hand, secured its first bowl appearance since 2011 with last week’s win over Georgia Tech. Bronco Mendenhall has done one of the best coaching jobs in the country this year. He’s turned the program around much faster than anyone expected. The Cavs play a tough schedule down the stretch, but with one more win, they can secure a winning record prior to their bowl game.
Despite having very little history playing one another, these two are yearly cross-division opponents in the ACC. Louisville has won two of three against Virginia since joining the lead, although all three games have been decided by a touchdown or less, so these two are working on building a rivalry.
College Football Free Pick Against the Spread: Virginia +10.5
This is a tough call, but I’m going to lean toward Virginia. Despite Virginia suffering a couple blowout losses in October, the Cardinals are so bad on defense that it’s tough to envision them winning easily. I’ll take my chances with the Cavaliers.
Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson is probably having a better season than he did last year when he won the Heisman. But you wouldn’t know it because the Cardinals aren’t a top-25 team. The Louisville defense has been so bad that Jackson has needed to super-human effort just to get the Cards to 5-4. Jackson has already run for over 1,000 yards and 14 touchdowns, and he should finish the season with around 3,500 passing yards.
Click on the link for more free NCAA football picks against the spread and total.
Unfortunately for the Cardinals, the Louisville defense has been dreadful. ACC opponents are averaging 39 points per game against the Cardinals. Modest offensive teams like Wake Forest and Boston College have both scored over 40 points against them. Louisville’s two ACC wins have come by a total of 11 points. As brilliant as Jackson has been, the Louisville defense doesn’t allow this team to win comfortably.
The Virginia offense is far from a juggernaut. But I like their chances against the Louisville defense. Plus, the Cavs put 40 points on the board last week against a decent Georgia Tech defense. Quarterback Kurt Benkert is having a strong senior season and is coming off one of his best games of the season. Against a porous Louisville defense, he’s capable of having another big game.
I’m a little tempted to take the over in this game, knowing how explosive Jackson is and how bad the Louisville defense is. But on the off chance the Virginia defense plays a good game, I’ll stick with the Cavaliers and the points. Without a good defense, I don’t see how Louisville can cover that many points. I also wouldn’t rule out Virginia pulling off a surprise win on the road.