Cardinals vs Golden Panthers NCAA Football Spread/Handicapping
The Louisville Cardinals are certainly looking like the best team in the BIg East this year. However, they would be wise to not take the Golden Panthers too lightly, again.
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#18 Louisville Cardinals (3-0) vs. Florida International Golden Panthers (1-2)
Saturday September 22
FIU Stadium – Miami, FL
Moneyline: Louisville -500, FIU +400 at TopBet.eu
Spread: Louisville -13.5
After all FIU beat Louisville on their home turf last year. If you are a motivation type player than that might be enough to consider the Cardinals here especially as they are starting a three game road trip this weekend.
Coach Charlie Strong seems like the kind of coach to not let the team skate.
It is amazing how much more confident QB Teddy Bridgewater looks this season.
As a result Louisville has a top 30 passing attack (so far) while getting good production from Senorise Perry and Jeremy Right in the ground game – both have 260 yards so far.
It has meant they haven’t had to do too much running with the athletic Bridgewater and he is avoiding the beatings some other QBs take. They need to keep him fresh for the Big East season to make a BCS run.
The defense for Louisville has been a little bit shaky this year but I don’t think FIU will be able to exploit that with their weak passing attack. Unless that changes Louisville should have little trouble winning the game with a likely cover. I wouldn’t go large on this one as there is a of bullishness on Louisville that is probably being worked into this number.
When coach Mario Cristobal stayed at FIU this offseason I thought it was because the team had the chance to continue to rise after the last couple of seasons. After a 1-2 start including a near loss at home to Akron this program looks like it was not quite ready to take the leap in the Sun Belt Conference. The biggest problems appear on defense where they have given up 117 points in just three games.
With the loss of all purpose threat T.Y. Hilton there was bound to be some dropoff offensively but they have been doing alright in that area so far. The bigger difference from last year to this is the defense. They just can’t stop opponents from throwing. Against Duke that was somewhat OK but Akron and UCF have also shredded them through the air. They might be alright against fellow Sun Belters but Louisville could easily give them fits.
It is never a bad play to back a home underdog, especially one that has proven to beat an opponent before. Besides it is not as if anyone is declaring Louisville a championship contender (at least not in football). Still this FIU has shown little to indicate they can combine enough offense or defense to compete with the Cardinals, a team on the rise.
Spread Pick: Louisville -14
O/U Pick: Over
Score Prediction: Louisville 38 – FIU 20