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2005 Louisville Cardinals Handicapping Review


By Tom Wilkinson


The Louisville Cardinals proved to be an outstanding sports handicapping value in 2004 as they were a power team from a non Bowl Championship Series Conference, thus, they were lightly regarded by sports bettors with marginal college football knowledge and the “sharps/wise guys” of college football wagering were able to take advantage of this explosive combination against the odds. Louisville wasted no time in establishing themselves as an excellent team with four consecutive wins and covers against the sports betting line to begin 2004.

This set up a showdown at Miami against the Hurricanes on ESPN Thursday Night Football and also a classic lesson in sports handicapping value. Miami is one of the “name brand” teams in college football. The Canes attract a lot of “public” sports betting money from players that prefer action on professional football, and bet on high profile college games to simply “have something going.” Miami’s “name brand” status only gets enhanced when they play in feature TV games, particularly on a Thursday Night situation in which there are few, if any, other games posted on the online sports betting boards or sportsbooks. Miami was installed as a 9-point chalk and barely escaped with a 41-38 win that was totally undeserved. Yet Louisville, in beating the sports betting odds, legitimized themselves with many sports bettors.

The Cardinals became a literal force of nature running the table straight up the rest of the way, with just one failure against the odds. At the same time, their value continued to decrease as the sports betting odds makers kept jacking up the sports betting line on the Cardinals, but Louisville had such incredible momentum that they kept covering sports betting odds set at 24, 21.5, 22, and finally 30.

The one major aspect that experts in college football sports handicapping would uncover is the fact that Louisville still had hopes of attaining at BCS berth and would, thus, run up the score to better enhance their overall computerized ratings. So while the general sports betting public feared including Louisville on their list of football picks due to those high numbers the wiser sports bettors went ahead and “laid the lumber” knowing that Cardinals coach Bobby Petrino wouldn’t “call off the dogs.” Louisville finished the regular season 10-1 both straight up and against the spread before winning but not covering the Liberty Bowl.





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