The Connecticut Huskies take on the Louisville Cardinals Friday night on ESPN 2 in a Big East Conference showdown and the books are expecting a thrilling affair. Odds makers at BetUS.com have listed the Louisville Cardinals as 3.5-point home favorites for this Friday night lights match-up. Expert Football Handicapper Jimmy Boyd will walk Point-Spreads.com readers through both sides of this match-up in his preview below, but if you're looking to nail the side to cash in your bets, make sure you're playing Jimmy's Big East Blowout play on Friday Night between UConn vs Louisville.
The Huskies squeaked out a win at home 31-28 over Baylor last Friday night. Odds makers had made the Huskies double digit favorites and now the public and odds makers alike have to be wondering what this UConn team is really made out of. They played another close game with Temple earlier this season and Temple is a team that most high-profile programs are treating as a bye week. Have the Huskies been lucky or are they good? I tend to think good teams win close games and while UConn didn't blow out Temple or Baylor as expected, they have playmakers on offense and stoppers on defense that are going to help them compete for another Big East title.
QB Tyler Lorenzen has not gotten off to the kind of start that many anticipated, appearing far more prone to turnovers than he was last season. But this season, the Huskies has a talented running back to lean on in Donald Brown. He has been coming up with every tough yard the Huskies have needed this season.
The defense was a big reason why the Huskies shared the Big East title a season ago and it is doing what it need to do in order to win games again. It came up with big stops at the end of the Temple and Baylor games to secure wins. Instead of looking at what the Huskies did in crunch time many look at what they didn't do to keep their opponents in the game to begin with. If you like the Huskies to stay unbeaten, you can bet on the Connecticut Huskies at Sportsbook.com and receive a 20% cash signup bonus.
Baylor QB Robert Griffin hooked up with wide receiver Kendall Wright six times for 114 yards as the duo continually found soft spots in the UConn pass defense last Friday. Louisville QB Hunter Cantwell will look to exploit the Huskies as well.
Another area Louisville could look to take advantage of UConn is in special teams, specifically in the return game. Antareis Bryan averaged nearly 30 yards a kickoff return for Baylor last week in four returns.
Louisville has done what it wasn't able to do last season already, get back up from a loss to Kentucky. The Cards quickly thrashed Tennessee Tech 51-10 and then cruised 38-29 over K-State last Wednesday. The Cards offense looked like a well-oiled machine, racking up nearly 600 yards with 303 of those coming on the ground. The Cards limited K-State to just 19 minutes of possession time. UConn is going to have to be better defensively this week or Louisville will likely torch the Huskies with a balanced high-powered attack.
Louisville has found a new weapon in running back Victor Anderson. The red-shirt frosh racked up 176 yards and three touchdowns last week.
If there are any negatives about Louisville's performance against K-State, it was that the Cards gave the Wildcats a chance to get back in it at the end. After dominating defensively for three quarters, they allowed two touchdown strikes of 52 and 59 yards to make the game interesting down the stretch. UConn is a team that finds ways to win. It just showed us that last week when it came from behind against Baylor. Louisville can't afford to take its foot off the gas pedal on either side of the ball. If you like the Cards at home, bet on the Louisville Cardinals at BetUS.com.
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