Louisville vs. Duke Prediction: How Will Louisville Respond Without Chris Mack?

Duke vs. Louisville prediction and pick for Saturday's college basketball marquee matchup at noon on ESPN. Handicapper Jason Radowitz breaks down the game and gives us his pick for this showdown.
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Louisville vs. Duke Prediction: How Will Louisville Respond Without Chris Mack?

The Louisville Cardinals have fired Chris Mack from his head coaching duties at the University of Louisville. Louisville will not rely on the interim head coach, Mike Pegues, who essentially coached the Cardinals for six games earlier this season when Mack was suspended and away from the team.

Today, the Cardinals will play its first game without Mack labeled as the head coach and they'll have a home game against the Duke Blue Devils in an ACC matchup. How will Louisville respond to the changes? Here are our picks and predictions for the ACC matchup between the Duke Blue Devils and the Louisville Cardinals.

Louisville vs. Duke Start Time, Where to Watch, and Odds

Date: Saturday, January 28

Game Time: 12:00 pm ET

Where to Watch: ESPN

Click Here for Louisville vs. Duke Odds

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Louisville vs. Duke Injury Report

Duke

Questionable: G Trevor Keels (Calf)

Louisville

Out: G Mike James (Achilles)

Duke Blue Devils vs Louisville Cardinals Betting Line Movement

Louisville vs. Duke Prediction

I'm a big fan of analytics, but sometimes, analytics won't help pick a winner in a game. Things could be completely different for the Cardinals as they're now led by Mike Pegues instead of Chris Mack. It's been said that both coaches have completely different styles of coaching. Louisville would show a lack of effort plenty of times this season. Maybe that changes today.

The Cardinals have lost five of their last six games and have really struggled offensively. The Cardinals are shooting an effective field goal percentage of 49.1 percent while only earning 26.7 percent of offensive rebounds. Louisville has also shot just 32 percent from three and 49.8 percent from inside the arc. Meanwhile, Duke is holding opponents to a 45.5 percent effective field goal percentage and continues to keep teams from heading to the line by limiting fouls.

On defense, the Cardinals have been much better but Louisville still can't force turnovers. The Cardinals have held opponents to a 47.8 percent effective field goal percentage and limit offensive rebounds to 23.7 percent on the season.

However, Duke is always a tough task defensively. On offense, Duke has shot 37.4 percent from deep and 55.7 percent from inside the arc on the season. Second chances could be a little harder to come by, so if Duke misses shots on the road, Louisville can absolutely stick around. But remember, Louisville fouls a lot while Duke rarely fouls teams to the line. That could be the difference. Plus, the Blue Devils have limited turnovers to 15 percent on the season, so Duke will still be getting plenty of shots up in this game.

Seeing Louisville as just six-point underdogs is a bit odd. Duke is easily the better team and I'd still pick Duke right now. But just note that Louisville is playing under a new coach and things could be completely different with Louisville today. Personally, I think Duke will be fine.

Duke Blue Devils vs Louisville Cardinals Pick

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ROI -13%
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Jason grew up an avid sports fan. His passion for sports writing grew in high school and he developed a blog that was strictly for New York Sports. From his work, you will quickly realize that he loves looking at games from an analytical and numbers perspective and hopes to provide you with that same perspective in his articles.

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