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Louisville Cardinals 2013 NCAA Football Gambling Odds & Predictions

2013-14 NCAA Previews (AAC) – Cardinals

Everyone is expecting the Louisville Cardinals to exit Big East (I had to) on top. They were the best team a year ago and have the best quarterback, coach and roster top to bottom. Everything seems to pointing their way except for the fact that other programs may be highly motivated to beat them given the circumstances.

Louisville Cardinals (Team Link)
Coach: Charlie Strong
2012 Record: 11-2
Odds of winning BCS Championship: +2500

Louisville may be the prohibitive favourite this season but if last year is any indicator they may not play as well with a target on their back. Back to back losses to middleweights Syracuse and Connecticut, the last one at home, eliminated them from the BCS Championship discussion after a 9-0 start. They have a chance to be in it again with a schedule set up for a perfect season this fall.

You can make a strong argument that Teddy Bridgewater is the best quarterback in America. I know that may cause some in College State to cringe but Bridgewater is as vital to the Cards and Johnny Manziel is to A&M. Bridgewater is an athletic game manager type who might best be compared to former Stanford QB Andrew Luck given that he can manage the game and still put up big numbers.

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His sophomore season was light years ahead of his frosh year and if the Cardinals reload on other parts of the offense he will be in the Heisman discussion.

There is no doubt that coach Strong has improved the depth of the program but this year will be a true test with only 5 starters returning on offense including just one skill position player – WR Damian Copeland. The Cards return 3 of 5 lineman – all juniors – so Bridgewater shouldn’t have to run for his life out there.

Louisville was the second highest scoring team in the Big East last year which took pressure off a very good defense. The games might be a little closer this season. [soliloquy id=”82219″]

Louisville returns 8 starters from a defense that gave up just 23ppg last season.

They were especially strong against the pass (1st in the conference and 16th in the nation) and with 3 of 4 in the secondary returning they should be so again. This will be a greater requirement as most of the teams coming to the league from Conference USA prefer to fling it around rathern than pound it on the ground. This is a very experienced group with only one underclassmen expected to start this season.

The defense will probably have to steal a game or two if they are going to make a championship run.

2013-14 Record Projection: 11-1

There is every reason to think that the Cardinals will win the first ever American Athletic Conference Championship. Overall they are an experienced team set in their concepts that is improving their talent with each recruiting cycle as they draw even more talent from the state of Florida and beyond.

Their schedule is ho-hum with no expected challenges in the non-conference slate. The big one if the last game of the season at Cincinnati.

That is the one blemish I see but it will be a big one. In terms of wagering I think Louisville is a prime fade candidate as they are likely to be considered better than they are, especially if they rack up a number of wins in in a row like I expect them to. They are very smart with the ball so a major upset seems unlikely though.

2013 Cardinals Schedule

AUG 31 – Ohio
SEP 7 – Eastern Kentucky
SEP 14 – @Kentucky
SEP 21 – FIU
OCT 5 – @Temple
OCT 10 – Rutgers
OCT 18 – UCF
OCT 26 – @South Florida
NOV 8 – @Connecticut
NOV 16 – Houston
NOV 23 – Memphis
DEC 5 – @Cincinnati

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About The Wiesguy

The Wiesguy is a newcomer to the handicapping scene. Hailing from Toronto, Canada he is always sweet on the underdogs and you can often find his thoughts, musings and picks at moneydogs.blogspot.com.


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