NCAA Basketball Picks: Butler vs. Saint Louis

Joe Freda

Thursday, January 31, 2013 2:56 PM UTC

Thursday, Jan. 31, 2013 2:56 PM UTC

Thursday’s slate has Brad Stevens’ troops visiting the Saint Louis Billikens, who are 0-2 ATS in their last pair of home dates.Will Butler collect again here or can Saint Louis get the money as a short fave?

Thursday Hoops Betting:  No. 9 Butler visits Saint Louis

The No. 9 Butler Bulldogs have cashed six straight tickets at NCAAB betting windows, holding their rivals to 62.3 PPG. 

Bulldogs, Clarke hold off Temple

Butler shot 52 percent from its floor in Saturday’s 83-71 victory over the Temple Owls, picking up its latest ATS win as a six-point favorite. Bulldogs guard Rotnei Clarke piled in 24 points, while logging nine of his squad’s 16 assists.

Butler’s Kellen Dunham drilled 5-of-6 shots beyond the arc, finishing with 17 points. Bulldogs mates Andrew Smith and Khyle Marshall united to sink 11-of-13 field buckets, while logging five boards each.

The duel’s combined 154 points soared above the ‘total’ of 129, ending a 3-0 UNDER streak from the Bulldogs’ prior trio of games. Butler connected 23-of-29 free throws, while out-rebounding Temple, 33-21.

Billikens, Evans shut down Bonnies

Saint Louis notched a second straight win in Saturday’s 67-57 triumph as a three-point road favorite against the St. Bonaventure Bonnies. The Billikens held St. Bonaventure to 36.2 percent field shooting, including a 2-for-16 day from three-point land.

Billikens forward Dwayne Evans notched team-highs of 18 points and eight rebounds, knocking down 7-of-11 shots from the floor. Saint Louis’ Cody Ellis and Mike McCall united for 19 points and seven steals, while mate Jordair Jett logged three assists.

The contest’s combined 124 points dipped below the ‘total’ of 132 ½, moving the UNDER to 3-2 in the Billikens’ last five affairs. Saint Louis’ Rob Loe notched two of his side’s three blocks, while held to four points in 13 minutes of action.

Back the Billikens at home opened Saint Louis as a two-point home favorite, with early wager on the Billikens liftin the spread a ‘hook’ to 2 ½. The ‘total’ was first listed at 122 ½, remaining unchanged in mixed initial betting.

I am backing Saint Louis in this battle, laying the short number as part of my sports picks for Thursday’s card. The Billikens drained 14-of-26 buckets beyond the arc in their most recent home date with the Rhode Island Rams, while shooting 46.1 percent from the field at home this year.

Saint Louis ranks among the top five squads of the Atlantic 10 Conference in free throws (71.6 percent) and three-point shooting (35.5 percent). Evans and Co. have cashed at 5-2 ATS in their last seven matchups that followed a victory.

Butler has held its own at the betting windows, but was held to 53 points in Wednesday’s most recent road spot against the La Salle Explorers. The Bulldogs sparsely reached the foul line, going 4-for-7 with free throws, while blowing a 28-23 halftime lead.

Look for Butler’s run of cashed tickets to end in this spot, while Saint Louis brings its top effort at home against this ranked foe.  


College Basketball Picks: Saint Louis

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