Ian Cameron Capping
CBB: 20* Main Event: Northern Kentucky +8 -110 (547)
Louisville was snubbed from the NCAA Tournament which has them playing here in the NIT Tournament instead. Motivation is always the single biggest factor for me in handicapping the first game of these NIT, CBI and CIT postseason tournaments and there may not be a team that is less motivated for this tournament than Louisville whose players actually voted to not participate in the NIT this year had they been selected. Of course, the university intervened and said we want to host a game and get our financial gains from hosting an NIT Tournament game and they have forced the players to take part in this tournament against their will. That forms what I consider a very toxic situation here involving the Cardinals who are being asked to not only win a game they may not care all that much about but win the game by margin. It's also worth noting Louisville is one of the schools that is on spring break this week which means the fan student sections at the KFC Yum Center in Louisville tonight could be scarce in terms of attendance and that will diminish the home court edge for Louisville here. So we have a strong 'bet against' situation for Louisville and Northern Kentucky appears to be in a 'bet on' situation here at the same time. The Norse are a quality mid-major team that can score the basketball and also plays solid defense and they will be fired up to take on an in-state big name team like Louisville tonight. NKU got bounced early in disappointing fashion from the Horizon League Tournament well over a week ago but they've had more than enough time to shake off that disappointment and get themselves ready for this game tonight. I think Northern Kentucky has very strong and very real potential to win this game outright but just a competitive game against an unenthusiastic Louisville team will cash our ticket here and this is a rare betting opportunity that simply must be elevated to 2 unit 20* Main Event status.