The Michigan Wolverines have covered the number in all five of their NCAA tournament games to this point, which makes them a dangerous underdog in taking on the Louisville Cardinals Monday night.


Let’s take a closer look at the
NCAA basketball odds for the title game at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, with the opening tip scheduled for 6:23 p.m. ET on CBS.

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NCAA Basketball Picks: Michigan vs. Louisville ATS

NCAA Basketball Picks: Michigan vs. Louisville Betting the Total

Hail victors

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Michigan has compiled a perfect 18-0 record against non-conference opponents during the 2012-13 college basketball season, including a 61-56 victory over the Syracuse Orange as 1.5-point favorites Saturday, while going UNDER the total of 128.5.

The Wolverines are now 9-1 straight up (SU) and against the spread (ATS) on a neutral floor, with the OVER going 6-4 in that situation.

Streaking

Louisville has won its last 15 games by an average of 16.5 points, as it comes off a hard fought 72-68 victory over the Wichita State Shockers as 9.5-point favorites Saturday, while going OVER the total for a ninth consecutive contest.

The Cardinals are 18-5 SU and 18-4-1 ATS when playing on one or less days rest the last two-plus seasons, with the OVER going 12-10-1 in that situation.

No. 1 seeds

College basketball handicappers may elect to lay the points when looking over the SBR Odds page, considering No. 1 seeds are on a 7-2 ATS run in the NCAA championship game, while the Cardinals have also covered their last seven games as neutral-court favorites of 3.5 to 6 points.

Louisville has won both of its appearances in the final game, with championships coming in 1980 and 1986, while producing a perfect 4-0 mark when taking on a No. 4 seed in the tournament.

Facing top defenses

I’m a bit surprised that the Wolverines are just 11-10 ATS against good defensive teams that allow 64 or fewer points this season, considering they’ve advanced past the likes of Florida, Kansas, Syracuse and VCU in the Big Dance.

Michigan has four players averaging in double figures since picking up a convincing 71-56 victory over South Dakota State in the Round of 64 on March 21, while point guard has a 2.33 assist-to-turnover ratio.

Prediction 

I’m going to recommend that readers back the Wolverines as one of their NCAA Basketball picks Monday night, as they’ve covered the number in their last three meetings with Big East opponents.

A lot of betting and situational trends favor Louisville, but Michigan will prove that the Big Ten was in fact the best conference in America inside the Georgia Dome.

NCAA Basketball Pick:  Michigan Wolverines +4 at 5Dimes