Michigan vs. Louisville betting odds: National Championship preview, pick

USA TODAY Sports

Louisville has won 15 in a row and favorites almost always cover the spread on the national championship odds menu. Can the Cardinals defeat the Michigan Wolverines Monday night as March Madness betting wraps up?

Michigan hit the tournament on a 2-10 ATS run, but are 5-0 ATS so far in the Madness.

Does that trend scare off Louisville Cardinals bettors in tonight's national championship game or do most believe that Rick Pitino's crew has the superior club and can easily cover 4 points?

"The spread opened at -4.5 for Louisville, but early Michigan action forced the number down," said Jack Randall of OddsShark.com. "We expect it to climb a bit as Louisville boasts a superior roster that won't be satisfied with second best here."

He said that Michigan -- the youngest team in the field of 68 -- may not have the horses or the motivation to fight to the finish.

The Wolverines have been tough as underdogs lately, winning six of nine straight up and also covering the spread at a 6-3 clip. But lower seeds have not done well in the championship game.

Since 2001, lower seeds are 2-7 SU (three games involved top seeds facing each other). And in those 12 games, favorites have covered the spread at a 9-3 ATS clip.

Neither team dominated in the Final Four round, with Louisville rallying late to beat Wichita State. They were down a dozen in the second half.

And Michigan saw a lead evaporate against Syracuse, but they held on for a win over the Orange. UM covered the spread, while the Cardinals did not.

Overall, Louisville is riding a 15-game win streak, but 54 percent of the early Monday college basketball betting consensus was on Michigan.

Check out the full matchup report, trends and live odds on the national championship game, courtesy of SB Nation's odds provider OddsShark.com.

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