Defenses Will Reign When Ranked Butler & Creighton Clash

kelan martin butler basketball

Willie Bee

Tuesday, January 31, 2017 2:50 PM GMT

Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2017 2:50 PM GMT

No. 22 in both of the latest polls, Creighton is an underdog on the college basketball odds board for Tuesday's Big East showdown at No. 16/15 Butler. But our best pick recommendation is on the total. 

As we bid January adios, we begin to look forward to rematches on the NCAA hardwood in February. Helping us jump-start what promises to be an exciting month is one of those rematches Tuesday, the final day of January, when the Creighton Bluejays and Butler Bulldogs collide in a crucial Big East battle.

The only game pitting ranked teams gets underway at Hinkle Fieldhouse a little past 7 p.m. ET), Fox Sports 1 having the broadcast honors. BookMaker started Butler at -6½, it briefly went to -7 and then came back to -6½ -- while the total currently sits on 150.

Tuesday's tussle is a rematch from a Jan. 11 clash in Omaha, the Bluejays posting a 75-64 decision in a game that closed with Creighton giving up 5½. The victory gave the Bluejays an 8-6 all-time lead in the series and 4-3 advantage as Big East foes. Last season's meeting in Indianapolis also closed with the home team laying 5½ as the Bulldogs scored an 88-75 victory. That contest went 'over' the total, the only time in the last six matchups 'under' tickets didn't cash, and it was the only cover for Bulldog backers in the last five meetings.

 

Jays 5-3 ATS In Big East Play

Creighton (19-3 straight up, 14-6 against the spread) stopped a mini 2-game skid this past Saturday with an 83-66 triumph at home vs. DePaul, the Bluejays just getting the cover as 16-point favorites on the NCAA basketball odds. Greg McDermott's gang fell as chalk the previous two games, one at Georgetown and the other in Omaha to Marquette, just their second home loss of the campaign.

The Bluejays are just now trying to work Zach Hanson back into the lineup after the 6-foot-9 forward missed 15 games with an ankle injury. The senior made the most of his 10 minutes on the floor in the win over DePaul, scoring nine points on a perfect 4-for-4 from the field and pulling down four rebounds.

 

Winner Keeps Pace With 'Nova In Big East

Butler (18-4 SU, 13-7 ATS) followed up the loss at Creighton nearly three weeks ago by reeling off four consecutive wins. That string stopped for Chris Holtmann's crew last Saturday at home where the Bulldogs were downed by Georgetown, 85-81. They played stellar defense in the four triumphs before the Hoyas figured them out by shooting almost 64% from the field and converting 10 of 20 from beyond the arc.

Both teams are breathing down Villanova's neck at the top of the league ranks, Butler sitting a half-game behind the defending national champs while Creighton is a full game back. Each still has a game at 'Nova coming up, plus a matchup with Xavier, making tonight's skirmish all the more important. I'm counting on good defense from both sides for my free NCAA basketball pick on the 'under.' Season record: 27-27-1 (-2.70).

NCAAB Free Pick: 'Under' 150Best Line Offered: BookMaker

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