NCAA Basketball Picks: Butler To Prevail On The Road vs. Providence

LT Profits Sports Group

Tuesday, January 19, 2016 4:58 PM UTC

Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2016 4:58 PM UTC

The Butler Bulldogs lost their Big East opener at home to the Providence Friars, but they could get revenge on the road tonight. Find out our NCAA basketball pick for the night.

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Free NCAA Basketball Pick: Butler +1
Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle


There could be revenge in the air Tuesday night with the visiting team turning the tables on an earlier home loss in a battle of ranked schools when those 18th ranked Butler Bulldogs (13-4, 9-9 ATS) pay a visit to the 16th ranked Providence Friars (15-3, 10-7 ATS) at the Dunkin' Donuts Center in Providence, RI at 6:30 ET in a game televised nationally on FOX Sports 1.

The point spread at BetOnline has Butler as a tiny road underdog for this contest with the current line at +1 on the NCAA Basketball odds board with odds of -105.


Will the Butler Get Revenge?
These two teams opened up Big East play against each other when Providence visited Indianapolis and improved to 4-1 both straight up at ATS vs. Butler since the teams became Big East rivals two years ago with a come-from-behind 81-73 triumph. The Friars then improved to 14-1 overall and 2-0 inside the Big East with a home win over St. John’s, but they have lost two of their three games since with both losses coming at home to Seton Hall and Marquette.

Butler meanwhile has been the winning NCAA Basketball pick in two of the last three games, and now at 2-3 inside the Big East, the Bulldogs could tie Providence in the conference standings if they can get some revenge here. And getting that revenge on the road here certainly seems plausible given the seemingly large shooting disparity between these teams in favor of the Bulldogs.


Bad Shooting Team Even Worse Lately
When the Friar won in Indianapolis on New Year’s Eve, they overcame a 36-25 halftime deficit by scoring 56 points in the second half, and finished that game shooting 46.2 percent from beyond the three-point arc, which was a total aberration for a normally poor perimeter shooting team and thus does not figure to be repeated here tonight.

You see, despite being 15-3 the Friars are only 213th in the country in effective field goal percentage at 48.6 percent, and a key reason for that is ranking 288th nationally in three-point shooting at 31.2 percent. Also, what made the first meeting even more of an anomaly is that Butler usually defends the perimeter well allowing only a 32.1 percent success rate beyond the arc, which is yet another reason not to expect Providence to shoot as well tonight as last time.

Furthermore, Providence has been even worse from the floor than usual as of late shooting a mere 32.4 percent overall in the last three games including 30.1 percent in the home loss to Seton Hall on Saturday. Those shooting woes have led to the Friars constantly facing double-digit deficits at halftime, and if that happens again tonight we do not expect them to come all the way back again vs. a quality opponent.


Three-Point Disparity Could be Crucial
Despite being two spots lower on the AP Poll, Butler is actually ranked 10 spots higher than Providence on the Pomeroy Ratings (36th vs. 46th) and is averaging exactly 10 points more per game (84.2 vs. 74.2) while ranking 36th in the land in effective field goal percentage at 54.1 percent. The Bulldogs also do not beat themselves either, ranking an outstanding fourth in the country in offensive turnover percentage at 14.1 percent vs. a national average of 18.5 percent!

But perhaps the biggest difference in this game could come from three-point land. Granted, this Butler team is not as great beyond the arc as other Bulldog teams of recent years, but they are still a very respectable 36.0 percent from downtown, nearly five full percentage points higher in three-point shooting than Providence.

And it has certainly helped that Kellen Dunham has gotten himself going, shooting a whopping 59.1 percent from three-point range over the last four games after suffering through a 10-for-60 shooting slump including going 2-for-32 beyond the arc over the previous five contests.


Visitors’ Series
Finally, this has been a Visitors’ Series from a betting perspective with the road teams going 4-0 in the last four head-to-head meetings including the Providence win at Butler in the conference opener this season. Also, Butler is 5-2 ATS in its last seven road games vs. teams with winning home records while Providence is 0-5 ATS in its last five home games vs. teams with winning road records.

Expect the road dominance in this series to continue with Butler getting an avenging win at Providence on FOX Sports 1 Tuesday evening.

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