While Bowl season has gotten into the big games with the major players, there’s also a pretty good 12/29 college basketball free pick in the works on Friday at 1:00 EST. The Louisville Cardinals (10-2) look to make a statement in what has been a scandalous and tumultuous season thus far. Of course the underdogs will have to pull off this feat at Rupp Arena where the Kentucky Wildcats (9-2) are 8-0 to start the year.
A Tough Test for Louisville’s Coach Padgett
32-year-old David Padgett will be coaching the 13th game of his life in the 12/29 college basketball free pick. Is this a good thing as he brings a youthful energy that the Cardinals may have been missing under Rick Pitino – or is it a liability as Louisville fades in this huge moment? Padgett’s team has won six in a row and their only losses on the season were back to back defeats to Purdue and Seton Hall – two very good teams.
While they do lack experience in coaching, Louisville has a big edge over Kentucky in the area of experience. Specifically, Senior Quentin Snider needs to step up at point guard as the Wildcats have no real legitimate option at that position. Another key to a Cardinal win is Deng Adel who has scored in double figures in five straight games. It might be Adel’s defense on UK’s Kevin Knox (15.7 per game) that could really give Louisville an edge. UL does have depth though as 6’10” F Raymond Spalding went for 21 points and 16 rebounds last game.
This Kentucky team is NOT that good. It’s highest ranked recruit (Knox) was 10th. Louisville’s experience and depth will prove too much for this Cats team.
— Burch Kinsolving (@BurchKinsolving) December 29, 2017
Kentucky Good Enough To Cover -5.5?
Nearly everyone is expecting a knock down, drag out battle in the 12/29 college basketball free pick yet oddsmakers have made the Wildcats significant favorites for this rivalry game. UK is coming off a 75-83 loss to UCLA in New Orleans on Saturday and had a four point loss to Kansas early in the season. Kentucky has compiled a bunch of wins so far, but they’ve also been double digit favorites in eight of their nine victories. The most impressive victory UK has is a 93-86 home win over 11-2 Virginia Tech. Still, the Hokies held a 6-point halftime lead and UK needed to shoot 50% from three point range just to get the win.
Knox has the capability to take over this game and he’ll be aided by G Hamidou Diallo who is averaging 19.8 points per game his last five. Kentucky has dominated Louisville, winning every game in Rupp Arena since the 2007/08 season. The Cardinals did notch a ‘W’ in their last meeting though, a 73-70 home victory almost exactly a year ago.
No idea how the basketball game is gonna go but I’ll give Kentucky a slight edge because it’s at home. I’ve watched nearly every UK game this year and there are flashes of brilliance and a whole lot of ugly. Kentucky 68 Louisville 64.
They’re probably gonna lose the bowl game.
— Bryan Baise (@bryanbaise) December 29, 2017
12/29 College Basketball Free Pick – Betting
After Kentucky beat Virginia Tech on 12/16, G Quade Green got on the microphone and promised the Rupp Arena crowd a victory over Louisville as his Christmas present to them. That’s bulletin board material 101. Kentucky wants this win no doubt, but it might be Louisville that needs this victory. The Cardinals fan base was disheveled when news of an NCAA investigation forced longtime coach Rick Pitino to resign before the start of the season. The play of Louisville has lifted those spirits, but a win over UK can bring them all the way back.
The line for the 12/29 college basketball free pick has dropped from UK -6.5 at open to the -5.5 current. About 55% of the public is on Kentucky despite the fact that only one player on the roster has stepped on the court against Louisville. It could be that experience that leads to a Cardinals victory – or at least keeps the score close.
Pick: Louisville Cardinals +5.5