Who'll Cover in the Big East Battle Between #1 Villanova and Butler?

Kevin Stott

Saturday, December 30, 2017 12:50 PM UTC

Saturday, Dec. 30, 2017 12:50 PM UTC

Unbeaten, #1 Villanova in Indianapolis on Saturday to Face Butler in a Big East Battle: Top-ranked and unbeaten Villanova heads to Hinkle Fieldhouse in Indianapolis on Saturday to face Butler in an early Big East Conference game which would be a tough loss for the visiting Wildcats, potentially looking for a comfortable #1 seed in The Big Dance

Saturday NCAAB Picks: Villanova -5½ -105 & Under 146½u -103
Best Lines Found at Bookmaker
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#1 Villanova at Butler (CBS, 4 pm EST/1 pm PST)

Jalen Brunson, Kris Jenkins and top-ranked Villanova (13-0 SU, 9-3-1 ATS) head to historic Hinkle Fieldhouse to face Kelan Martin and Butler (11-3 SU, 7-6 ATS) in a fun Big East Conference matchup from Indianapolis on Saturday afternoon. Offshore sportsbooks opened up Villanova as solid 5½- (-105, Bookmaker) to 6-point Favorites (BetOnline) over host Butler and immediate Sharp money quickly moved the number to 6. The Total is currently at 146½o -117 (Bookmaker) to 147 (JustBet).

Villanova Wildcats

Like many established NCAA Basketball programs, Villanova (20/1 to win NCAA Basketball championship, BetOnline) and Head Coach Jay Wright always seem to be in the National title hunt mix lately no matter who moves on and this season is no different for the Big East heavyweights who won it all just two seasons ago in 2016. In its last game Villanova (#1 Pomeroy ranking) beat DePaul, 105-85 at Wintrust Arena in Chicago, barely covering as big 15-point Road Favorites (145) in the Windy City in the Big East Conference game which saw the Blue Demons fall to 7-6 SU/ATS. In the victory, Wright had a Starting 5 of Eric Paschall (16 points), Omari Spellman (12 points, 12 rebounds), Phil Booth (17 points), Mikal Bridges (20 points) and jalen Brunson (16 points), so the Wildcats got double-digit scoring from their main group as well as 11 points apiece off the Villanova Bench from Donte DiVincenzo and Jermaine Samuels (11 points). F Tim Delaney (Virus) is listed as Questionable for the game on Saturday.

The Trends show that Villanova (#1 Pomeroy ranking) is 6-0 ATS L6 vs Teams with Winning Percentages Higher Than .600, 8-0 ATS the L8 vs. Teams With Winning SU Records and 8-1 ATS the L9 Following a SU Win. The Wildcats are also 39-17-1 ATS their L57 Road games, 38-16-1 ATS the L455 Road Games vs Teams With Winning Home Records and 39-18 the L57 Saturday games, so Villanova has proven to be a team that really rises to the challenge when it faces quality opponents—like this Butler team—Away in recent seasons.

Butler Bulldogs

Butler (400/1 to win 2018 NCAA Championship, Heritage) fought for a 91-89 OT against Georgetown in its last outing at Capital One Arena in Washington, DC, failing to cover as 4-point Road Underdogs (144½) in a game which saw 1st-year Head Coach Lavall Jordan and the Bulldogs emerge victorious despite trailing 42-28 at Halftime and shooting an anemic 3-for-21 (14.3%) on the their 3-point Attempts with Paul Jorgensen (1-7), Kamar Baldwin (1-5) and Kelan Martin (1-5) going a combined 3-for-17 with Sean McDermott (0-4) missing all of his attempts from long range. Baldwin led Butler in scoring with 31 points, Martin had 27 and Wideman added 15 points while McDermott had 8 points and 12 rebounds in the contest which saw Butler outscore Georgetown in OT, 8-6. It was the 8th SU Win 9 games for Butler (#55 Pomeroy ranking) who have played 6 consecutive Overs heading into this weekend’s NCAA College Basketball action.

The Trends here show Butler is 8-2 ATS the l10 Home games at Hinkle Fieldhouse, 4-1 ATS the L5 Saturday games and 14-5-1 ATS the L20 Following an ATS Loss. The Over is 6-0 the L6 Butler games and with Villanova so poor against FGs so far this season (42.3%, #129), there should be a consistent flow and plenty of points scored in Naptown on Saturday. The Over is 9-4 the L13 Saturday games for the Bulldogs, 4-0 their L4 Home games and 6-2 the L8 encounters within its Big East Conference.

Butler and Villanova Both Heading Into Saturday’s Big Matchup On Solid Overs Totals Streaks

The series Trends show the Road team to be 4-1 ATS the L5 meetings but it’s the more recent Trends which seem more applicable and whoever covers ATS may come down to a late 2-minute spurt as it often does in College and NBA Basketball, much to the chagrin of sports bettors but much to the delight of sportsbooks and pink antacid manufacturers worldwide. Although Butler has played 6 straight Overs and Villanova has played 5 straight Overs, expect that math to be baked into the Totals cake. The L3 meetings in Indianapolis have resulted in 2 Unders and a Push (BUT 66-58 VIL, BUT 55-60 VIL, BUT 65-68 VIL) with neither team eclipsing the 70-point mark and the last Over between these two at Hinkle Fieldhouse was back in 2013 (BUT 73-76 VIL, OT) and required Overtime.

FINAL SCORE PREDICTION: Villanova 76 Butler 67

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