The bottom quartile of the ACC standings is on the line when the Louisville Cardinals head to the 404 and take on the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets live on ESPN for the only college football game in America tonight. And for total bettors, they’re both in the bottom eight in turnover margin in the country.
UL is 1-2 a with an opening win over Western Kentucky countered by two losses in the ACC. A 47-34 defeat by Miami in one of the more embarrassing defensive performances in the Power Five this season was followed up by a 23-20 loss at Pitt last weekend.
Junior starting quarterback Malik Cunningham has had plenty of ups and downs early, with 54 of 91 passes completed for 757 yards. He also has seven TD’s through the air, but five interceptions as well. The Cards have eight total giveaways through three games, a number they’ll need to keep down if they’re to get the win as a favorite on the road this evening.
The Louisville defense did look better last weekend after their panned performance against the Hurricanes where they gave up 8.1 yards per play... and if UM didn’t take their foot off the gas it would have been worse. But they’re not athletic enough in head coach Scott Satterfield’s second year on either side of the ball, and the rebuilding process continues in Kentucky.
Georgia Tech is going through the growing pains of a rebuild with a true freshman quarterback in Jeff Sims. A season-opening win over Florida State raised expectations, but FSU has since been discovered to be one of the worst college football teams outside of Division III. A four-touchdown loss to Central Florida didn’t seem so bad, but getting beat by Syracuse 37-20 was a real punch as the Orange have looked completely lifeless against everyone else this season.
Sims is 55-99 for 695 yards in three games, but with three touchdowns and eight interceptions. The Bees are giving the ball away an average of four times per game, and most of those fall on Sims learning on the job. He’s also the leading rusher with 187 net yards and two touchdowns, but it’s not been enough to stay competitive so far.
Where Ga. Tech shines is in the punting game: Pressley Harvin III is one of the best stories in college football, and is averaging 48.2 yards per boot this season. He’ll be on an NFL roster next season it appears, and his ability to control the game with his leg via directional and placement kicking is remarkable.
Game Time/TV Channel/Streaming
You can watch this game on Friday, October 9th at 7:00 ET on ESPN. Streaming is also available via the ESPN app.
Point Spread, Totals, Odds, Trends
Point spread: Louisville -5 (87% of action, 87% of bets)
Point Total: O/U 65 -110
Money line: Louisville (-205), Houston (+165)
The Pick: Under 65
It can be quite dangerous to go under on two teams that turn the ball over as much as these two. But with two solid coaches in year two in Satterfield and Georgia Tech’s Geoff Collins, we think both teams will play it a bit more conservative and try to control the clock and check down a bit more this week. These offenses aren’t exactly lighting the world on fire when they get a free ball in plus territory anyway.
It’s counter-intuitive and against the numbers, but we’ll bet on less breakneck pace and more ball control in a game both teams have circled as a win they need.
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