NCAA Basketball Picks: Gonzaga vs. Butler

Joe Catalano

Saturday, January 19, 2013 5:41 PM GMT

Saturday, Jan. 19, 2013 5:41 PM GMT

Top 25 powerhouses collide at Hinkle Fieldhouse as #8 Gonzaga Bulldogs (17-1, 4-0) square off against the #13 Butler Bulldogs (15-2, 3-0). It’s the “Battle of the Bulldogs for today's free NCAAB Picks.

One team will come out of this a happy puppy while the other suffers a minor setback. Tune into ESPN at 9:00 pm ET. This will be a dogfight to remember!

The Odds

Currently, Gonzaga is a 3.5 point NCAA basketball betting favorite with 5 Dimes Sportsbook and the total for the game is 137.

Rotnei Clarke, Out!

This doesn’t help Butler’s chances, but before their leading scorer hurt his neck, he hadn’t been playing well. Butler is on a 12 game winning streak. This quite a resilient basketball team.

Big Time Resumes

Both of these teams have beaten the best of the best. Gonzaga is on an 8 game winning streak and hold wins over teams such as Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Clemson, West Virginia, Kansas State, and St.Mary’s while Butler has knocked off Marquette, North Carolina, and Indiana.

Another team will be added to one of these team’s lists of victories after this game. Who will it be? Which side of the NCAAB betting odds are we on?

Winning Ugly

In their last game, Butler went on to defeat a formidable Richmond Spiders team, 62-47. Both teams shot under 40% from the field, but Butler was dominant on the boards, 47-18. Andrew Smith led the Way for the Bulldogs with 15 points and 7 rebounds while Roosevelt Jones was able to deliver a double-double.

“Any Means Necessary” will be Butler’s motto as they face one of the best teams in the country, Gonzaga.

Supporting Cast

Butler will need to rely upon its home town hero, Andrew Smith, for continued support along with forward Khyle Marshall.

Smith has been very reliable as of late. In his last 3 games, he’s averaging 17.3 points and 7 rebounds per contest. He’ll be the center of attention as Gonzaga will look to double team the 6 foot 11 center and force other players to beat them.

One of those other players is the usually reliable Khyle Marshall. Marshall is coming off of couple of sub-standard performances. His most recent game was a 3 point effort in which he shot just 1 of 6 from the field in just 18 minutes against Richmond. Butler will need the forward to step up; Gonzaga will shut down the Bulldogs as a team if Marshall has an off game.

Fast Pace Tempo

Gonzaga will look to turn this game into a track meet as they sport one of the best offenses in college basketball. They rank 8th in the nation in points per game at just over 80 and shoot 51.4% from the field as a team. If this game becomes a high scoring affair, Gonzaga will run away with it. Butler will look to slow down the pace of the game. Will they be successful is the question?

[gameodds]14/217913/43/us[/gameodds]

Unstoppable!

Junior, Kelly Olynyk, has been on fire as of late for the Zags. Along with leading the team in scoring, this 7 foot forward has been an outright beast against some of the better schools in college basketball. Olynyk is averaging 27 points and 8.7 rebounds in his last 3 games. St. Mary’s is no pushover and Olynyk lit them up for 31 points as he made constant trips to the foul line. Butler won’t be able to stop this mountain of a man; they can only look to contain him. It’s a big key to the game.

Outcome

I know that Butler has had a superb season, but the streak ends here. Without Rotnei Clarke in the lineup, look for the Gonzaga Bulldogs to beat up the Butler Bulldogs.

NCAA Basketball Picks: Gonzaga -3.5 at 5 Dimes
comment here