Monday college basketball odds: Louisville at Connecticut

Red-hot and No. 3 Louisville, which has a chance to take the top spot in the polls when they are released later today, has arguably its toughest road test so far this season on Monday night when the Cardinals visit UConn. Louisville opened as a 6.5-point favorite on WagerWeb.com. Check current lines.

Louisville enters off a dominating 64-38 victory at South Florida on Saturday. Senior guard Peyton Siva scored 17 points to surpass 1,000 for his career and contributed a team-high three steals as Louisville held South Florida to a season-low 27 percent shooting. It marked USF’s second-lowest point total in school history.

“We played the kind of defense we wanted to play,” Cardinals coach Rick Pitino said. “They came out the entire evening and played incredible defense, the defense we’ve been waiting for and what we’ve wanted to see.”

Louisville (15-1, 3-0 Big East Conference) held South Florida to just 12-of-45 shooting, including 3 of 17 in the first half. The field goals allowed were a season low for the Cardinals, two fewer than what Miami (Ohio) and Missouri-Kansas City made against them earlier this season.

Center Gorgui Dieng added 12 points and 16 rebounds while forward Chane Behanan had 12 rebounds and seven points for the Cardinals, who won their 10th in a row. Behanan played just five days after injuring his left ankle in practice and missing Wednesday’s victory against Seton Hall. Siva, the Big East Preseason Player of the Year, is the floor leader of the Cards. He is surrounded by a talented cast, including Russ Smith (18.7 ppg), Dieng (9.8 rpg)and sophomore forwards Chane Behanan (11.1 ppg, 7.4 rpg) and Wayne Blackshear (8.9 ppg, 4.0 rpg).

Pitino has a deep squad, with nine players averaging at least 14 minutes per game. As a team, the Cards are shooting 45.5 percent. while allowing just 39.1. They are outscoring opponents, 77.1-56.3. Louisville is second nationally in turnover margin (+7.8). The Cards have forced an average of 20.1 turnovers a game, scoring 409 of their 1234 points off turnovers (33%)

UConn pulled a 65-58 upset at No. 17 Notre Dame on Saturday. The Huskies outscored the Irish 7-0 in the final minute to end a long home winning streak by Notre Dame (14-2, 2-1) for the third time in four years. The loss prevented the Irish from getting off to their best start ever in the Big East and their best start overall since the 1973-74 squad led by John Shumate and Adrian Dantley and coached by Digger Phelps opened 24-1. Shabazz Napier scored 19 points, Tyler Olander scored 12 of his career-high 16 points in the second half to pace UConn (12-3, 2-1), who outplayed the Irish in the final minute.

The loss ended a 17-game home winning streak for the Irish. Last year the Huskies ended a 29-game streak, meaning the only opponent to win in South Bend the past 48 games is UConn. The Huskies also ended Notre Dame’s school-record 45-game home streak in 2009.

Louisville has a 7-6 series edge over Connecticut and the Cardinals have won five of the last six meetings. Last season, Smith scored 16 points and Dieng totaled 15 points and a career-high six steals to lead Louisville to an 80-59 victory in the KFC Yum! Center (2/6/12).

WagerWeb.com trends: Cardinals are 6-1 ATS in their last 7 Monday games. Cardinals are 6-1 ATS in their last 7 vs. Big East. Cardinals are 10-2 ATS in their last 12 games after allowing less than 50 points in their previous game. Cardinals are 4-0-1 ATS in the last 5 meetings in Connecticut. Cardinals are 5-1 ATS in the last 6 meetings. Over is 4-1 in the last 5 meetings in Connecticut.

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