Louisville vs. NC State Basketball Prediction and Odds for Thursday, December 22 (Just Keep Fading the Cardinals)

Head coach Kenny Payne has words for Louisville
Head coach Kenny Payne has words for Louisville / Matt Stone/The Louisville Courier

There you go Kenny Payne, you’re figuring this out a little tiny bit aren’t you?

Payne’s Louisville Cardinals have won two of their last three games to get to 2-10 on the season, and maybe things are turning around at the right time as they head into ACC play. Or, maybe a really bad team managed to beat Western Kentucky and Florida A&M. Who’s to say. 

NC State will host Payne’s team coming off two straight wins of its own, but still winless in the ACC, going 0-2. It’s full steam ahead in conference play from here on out, and Louisville should be a soft landing for the Wolfpack. They’re big favorites at home, so let’s check out the odds. 

Louisville vs. NC State Odds, Spread and Total

Louisville vs. NC State Prediction and Pick

I’d like to say that Louisville is improving and that it'll make strides by the end of the season, but that’s just not true. The Cardinals got their first two wins against bad mid-major teams and those might be their only two wins they finish the year with.

The ACC will be very tough for this team with only one offense creator and the least creative coach in the country.

They’re scoring 61.2 points a game, 353rd in the country out of 362 teams. El Ellis has to do everything, he’s averaging 17.2 points a game and 4.5 assists, which is half of their team average of 9.0. Meanwhile, he’s also turning the ball over nearly five times a game and getting no help at the offensive end. 

They have started to play a little bit faster which has helped them a little bit, but this lineup just doesn't work, it has no spacing and they have no chance unless they get lucky and hit a couple of shots, which doesn’t happen often. The Cardinals are shooting 39% from the field and 31% from three. Against the spread, they’re 1-11. 

Terquavion Smith will slice through their defense, like a hot knife through butter and easily get his 18 points and five assists, and NC State plays at a fast enough pace that it'll be able to cover a big spread. 

Follow all Josh Yourish’s bets HERE

Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change