NCAA Basketball Picks: Butler vs. Marquette

Jeff Grant

Friday, March 22, 2013 2:34 PM GMT

Friday, Mar. 22, 2013 2:34 PM GMT

The Marquette Golden Eagles were fortunate to advance past the Round of 64, as they now prepare to take on the Butler Bulldogs Saturday with a trip to the Sweet 16 on the line.


Let’s take a closer look at the College basketball odds for this matchup between the Big East and Atlantic 10 Conference’s, with the opening tip scheduled for 7:45 p.m. ET at Rupp Arena.

Let SBR be your 2013 NCAA Tournament betting headquarters.

Just enough time

Marquette captured a 59-58 victory over the Davidson Wildcats as three-point neutral court favorites Thursday, while going UNDER the posted total of 137. Golden Eagles guard Vander Blue managed to hit a layup with one second left on the clock.

Over the last two-plus seasons, the program is 4-2 straight up (SU) and against the spread (ATS) in the NCAA Tournament, with the UNDER going 5-1 in those contests.

It wasn’t pretty

In a game that was hard to watch in the opening 20 minutes, the Butler Bulldogs came away with a 68-56 victory over the Bucknell Bison as three-point neutral-site favorites, while going OVER the posted total of 122.

The Bulldogs are now a money-making 16-7 SU and 18-7 ATS in their last 25 games in the Big Dance.

Maui Invitational

College basketball handicappers definitely need to take a look at the Bulldogs’ 72-71 victory over the Golden Eagles as four-point neutral-site underdogs on Nov. 19, as these two teams faced off in the Maui Invitational.

One of Butler’s biggest advantages in this type of format is its coaching staff, as Brad Stevens normally holds a major edge over an opposing coach if the two sides are preparing for an unknown opponent, but that’s not the case in this spot.

Marquette lost the turnover battle by a 14-to-7 margin, while Butler guard Rotnei Clarke ended up being a hero in hitting a three-point shot at the buzzer.

Depth

The Golden Eagles entered the tournament with nine players averaging at least 13.1 minutes per game, with Blue leading the way with 32.7. It’s something that I mentioned in covering their second-round matchup with the Wildcats in a previous SBR video.

I mentioned that Marquette was a potential play-on team if it reached the second stage of any weekend, as its reserves account for 44.5 percent of the team’s total offense, which is the second-highest percentage nationally in that category.

[gameodds]14/225379/43/us[/gameodds]

Prediction

I’m going to recommend that readers back the Golden Eagles as one of their NCAA Basketball picks, as they’ve advanced to the Sweet 16 under coach Buzz Williams each of the last two seasons.

I will say this—very little sports betting value is found in wagering on this affair.

NCAA Basketball Pick: Marquette Golden Eagles -1.5 at BetOnline

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