Betting History To Repeat Itself in East Region Second Round Between Purdue and Butler

Rainman M.

Saturday, March 17, 2018 4:17 PM UTC

Saturday, Mar. 17, 2018 4:17 PM UTC

Two-seeded Purdue battles in-state rival ten-seeded Butler on Sunday at (time?) in Detroit to make it to the Sweet 16. The Boilers are favored by (KP projection of 6), but can thoughts of rivalry and revenge propel Butler to a cover?

Purdue Boilermakers (29-6 SU, 17-17-1 ATS) vs Butler Bulldogs (21-13 SU, 16-17 ATS)East Region, Sunday, 12:10 PM ETFree NCAAB Pick: PurdueBest Line Offered: 5Dimes

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Bettors have an advantage when it comes to capping this game because the two teams already faced each other on Dec. 16, an 82-67 Purdue win and cover in neutral territory. We should ask ourselves if there is any reason to expect a different ATS result by measuring any deviation in that game from statistical norms and by measuring any change in the teams' respective form and player health. All signs point to another Purdue cover.

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The statistical oddity in that game was that both teams, normally ball-secure, combined for 35 turnovers. In terms of player health, Purdue center Isaac Haas is injured for the rest of the tournament. Haas contributed 15 points in that December game with his size and physicality down low even though his playing time was limited to 16 minutes due to foul trouble. Haas is replaceable today because Purdue has other effective scoring options and other strong defenders.

Meet Haas' backup, Dutchman Matt Haarms. He played a significant role in Purdue's cover with a season-high 27 minutes. Haarms isn't as physical down low, but he boasts an extensive wingspan with his length. This means that he isn't as much of a scoring threat, though he is actually more efficient than Haas, ranking 89th in two-point percentage. HIs length helps him defensively and he ranks 6th in block percentage. His block percentage is nearly as high against KenPom top-50 opponents. Haarms' defensive presence will be significant against a Butler offense that relies primarily on scoring inside, ranking 77th in point distribution from two, and converted only 40% from two when the teams first met.

Even though Haarms won't draw fouls and score like Haas, Purdue has other options. Guards Dakota Mathias and Carsen Edwards combined for 10-for-14 from two. Forward Vincent Edwards is Purdue's other player who averages double figures. Vincent Edwards, like Purdue as a team, is strongest from three. The Boilers have the 102nd-highest proportion of threes attempted and are the nation's second-best team at converting threes by percentage. Both Carsen and Vincent Edwards, Mathias, and guard Ryan Cline rank in the top 400 in the category. Purdue will take advantage of its strength behind the arc against a Butler defense that is horrible at contesting the three, ranking 279th in opposing three-point percentage and 181st in opposing proportion of threes allowed.

Butler has failed to cover seven of its last ten games. Purdue is also on a bit of an ATS rut. But the difference is that Purdue has still been comfortably winning games with larger spreads whereas Butler hasn't been winning period. The Bulldogs have lost six of their last nine games SU. They shot exceptionally well against Arkansas yesterday but will meet too much interior resistance from the likes of Haarms that they themselves can't offer on defense and will get outshot by Purdue's variety of three-point and even two-point weapons. Bulldog backers will counter that they seek revenge against their rivals but I don't believe in the revenge angle in postseason play, when every team will bring its fullest motivation. So no Haas, no problem on our NCAAB Picks.

Check out SBR’s college basketball odds page for updated lines. Also, head over to the March Madness Betting Headquarters for vital handicapping information, picks, and a list of the best sports books and live betting options for the tournament season.

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