Elite 8 Basketball Betting Matchup Odds: No 4 Louisville and No 7 Florida
Saturday, March 24, 2012
by Bovada Sportsbook
Easily the biggest storyline of Saturday’s Elite Eight matchup between No. 4 Louisville Cardinals and No. 7 Florida Gators is that of the head coaches: the Cardinals’ Rick Pitino and the Gators’ Billy Donovan.
Pitino is Donovan’s coaching mentor and in fact coached Billy the Kid at Providence when the Friars made a surprising Final Four run in 1987. UF is a 1.5-point favorite at Bovada’s NCAA Basketball Elite 8 Odds and live betting is available on the game.
Both Florida and Louisville were underdogs in their Sweet 16 games. The No. 4 Cardinals (29-9) were the first team in this tournament to beat a No. 1 seed, handling Michigan State 57-44. The Louisville defense was stellar, led by center Gorgui Deng’s seven blocks. The Spartans shot just 28.6 percent from the field, their worst-ever mark in the Big Dance, and their 44 points are the fewest for a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament in the shot clock era. Pitino improved to 10-0 in Sweet 16 games. It was Louisville’s seventh straight win after claiming the Big East Tournament championship.
Florida (26-10) didn’t enter the NCAA Tournament looking like a threat as the Gators had lost three of their past four games. But UF has been barely challenged in three games, winning by a combined 70 points. Florida upset No. 3 Marquette 68-58 on Thursday behind 21 points from freshman guard Bradley Beal. He is peaking at the right time. In five postseason games (three in the NCAA, two in SEC Tournament), Beal is averaging 17 points, 8.2 rebounds, shooting 53.8 percent overall and 43.3 from 3-point range.
If UF wins this game, it would be the first No. 7 seed to reach the Final Four since Virginia in 1984. However, Donovan is 0-6 in his coaching career against Pitino. Florida and Louisville haven’t met since 2004. UF is 4-0 ATS in its past four games, while Louisville has covered seven in a row.
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