Providence Is Our NCAA Basketball Picks As Friars Give Butler Trouble

Mark Lathrop

Tuesday, January 19, 2016 12:21 PM GMT

Our NCAAB handicapper checks out this rematch between ranked Big East teams to see if a repeat win by the Friars is worth entering your NCAA basketball picks.

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Free NCAA Basketball Pick: Providence Pick'Em
Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle

 

Odds Overview
In a Big East game that could have seeding implications for the NCAA Tournament we have the 23rd ranked Butler Bulldogs (13-4, 2-3) visiting the 12th ranked Providence Friars (15-3, 3-2). Both of these teams are in the middle of the pack right now in the Big East standings and are currently chasing Villanova, who is a perfect 6-0 in conference play thus far. The early NCAA basketball odds boards have the Friars as the home court favorite. If you wanted to take Providence for your NCAA basketball picks, you’d need to lay 1.5 points across the board with no book leaning another way. The only O/U total published is at Bookmaker, and they have the total starting at 146 in this game.

 

Butler vs. Providence Game Overview
Providence picked up two of their three losses in the last three games, dropping games to Marquette and Seton Hall at home. Providence shot horribly in their loss on Saturday to Seton Hall, going 22-73 from the field for a 30.1% shooting percentage. They allowed Seton Hall to shoot 48.3% on the other end of the floor, which is a recipe for losing. The Friars’ leading scorer for the season, sophomore forward Ben Bentil, led the team in this game as well. Bentil posted 21 points on 4-15 shooting from the floor, but also added 12 of 13 free throws and 9 rebounds.

Butler is coming off of an emotional win at home against St. Johns, 78-58. I say emotional because it was the night that the Bulldogs chose to honor the late Andrew Smith, the former center who recently died at the age of 25 from cancer. After the pregame ceremonies Butler came out sluggish, but finally broke away from St. John’s halfway through the 1st half. The Bulldogs had two players who scored more than 20 points, with Kellen Dunham scoring 24 and Kelan Martin adding 22.

Dunham is the leading scorer for Butler this season, as the senior guard averages 15.8 points per game. The leading rebounder for the Bulldogs is surprisingly 6-4 senior guard Roosevelt Jones. The Bulldogs are a little undersized and don’t really have a big center on their roster that plays a lot of minutes. The closest thing is 6-10 freshman, Nate Fowler, but he only plays about 7 minutes per game.

 

Betting Analysis
These two teams met in the conference opener for both teams on New Year’s Eve at Butler. Providence prevailed in that game 81-73, even after trailing Butler 36-25 at halftime. Junior forward, Rodney Bullock, had a career day in the game, scoring 25 points. He hasn’t scored that many points in any other game this season, but hit 6 of 9 from three-point land at Hinkle Fieldhouse. Overall, Providence hit 12 three-pointers in the game and Butler couldn’t match it, as they went 3-17 from outside the arc. Providence also outrebounded Butler 35-30 in the game, with Bullock getting 10 of those.

Kelan Martin lead Butler in scoring in that matchup with 20 points, and Roosevelt Jones added 19.

That win for Providence came as a 7.5-point underdog on the road at Butler, and made the Friars 4-1 straight up and ATS against the Bulldogs. They have owned the series between these teams so far, and have had the higher field goal percentage in every matchup. After an emotional win for Butler in their last game I’m going to fade them here in a let down spot and with a tough roster matchup on the road. In a basically pick’em line I’ll take higher ranked home team as well. Take Providence at home at Pick’em at 5Dimes as one of your Tuesday NCAAB Picks.

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