A Big East showdown between Louisville and Cincinnati tips off tonight and both of these teams are playing well. The visiting Cardinals, who are 1.5-point underdogs in the odds tonight, have won seven of their last eight and have gone 7-1 ATS during that span. Pretty damn good. 

They may have just fallen short to Syracuse (51-52) but they responded nicely with a hard-fought 90-82 overtime win over DePaul on the road. Kyle Kuric, Chris Smith and Russ Smith went for 61 points between them, helping the Cardinals erase a second-half deficit to force overtime and eventually get the well-deserved W.

Rick PitinoTwo In-Form Teams

Cincinnati enters having won four of five, their only loss coming on the road to Marquette. The last two wins have both come at home against Seton Hall and Providence. Dion Dixon had his best all-around game in the victory over the Pirates, finishing with 20 points, six boards and five assists.

So, on which side do we place our money? Or is a total play the better avenue tonight's NCAA basketball picks?

Definitely a tough call here. The Cardinals have covered six of nine away from home and the Bearcats are a miserable 2-9 ATS on their own court this season.

But as I've said in the past, I really like this Cincinnati squad. They won at home over Louisville last season (63-54) and have cashed ATS in their past three meetings with Rick Pitino's team. 

I'm leaning towards a Bearcats cover of this small spread but I'm a little more confident in the OVER hitting the mark. 

Both teams have switched up their offense a little bit as of late. The Cardinals experimented with a guard-heavy lineup against DePaul because Chane Behanan was dealing with flu-like symptoms. What were the results? They scored 90 points, with Kuric and the two Smiths combining to hit 10 threes. 

Cincinnati's offense has also stepped it up recently. They were struggling in late January, but in their previous five matchups the Bearcats have put up 74.2 PPG.

Trend Forecast 

The three ball is also being frequently used by the two squads. Louisville attempted 32 threes in their latest win while Cincinnati, especially Sean Kilpatrick, aren't afraid to chuck it up either. 

Over their last six road games the Cardinals are allowing 72 PPG, while the final total has eclipsed the posted O/U in five of their last six contests away from the KFC Yum! Center.

All of this is making me believe that 130 points won't be too much to handle. I will therefore be recommending a play on the OVER for tonight's Big East clash.

PICK: OVER 130.5

 

TREND BREAKDOWN

Cardinals are 7-1 ATS in their last 8 games overall

Cardinals are 9-3 ATS in their last 12 road games

Bearcats are 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games overall

Bearcats are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 home games

UNDER is 5-1 in the last 6 head-to-head meetings

Bearcats are 4-1 ATS in the last 5 head-to-head meetings