NCAAB Odds, Pick for Butler vs Michigan State
Photo by Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Posh Alexander (Butler)
Butler vs Michigan State Odds, Pick
Below, we have Butler vs Michigan State odds and a pick, including an NCAAB betting guide for Friday, Nov. 17.
Two teams that have started the season in surprising fashion for different reasons will meet Friday night at the Breslin Center in East Lansing, as Michigan State hosts Butler to conclude the Gavitt Games.
Not much was expected of Butler coming into the year, but Thad Matta's squad looks much improved from the one that lost 18 contests last season.
Michigan State has also caught college basketball experts by surprise, but not for the same reasons. Tom Izzo's squad opened the year with two losses in three games, including an overtime defeat to James Madison at home in the opening outing of the season.
Butler needs a win to validate its promising start, and Michigan State desperately needs to avoid another bad loss this early in the schedule. The pressure is on!
Butler has a totally new look this season. After a disappointing start to the Matta era, the head coach revamped his roster immediately, replacing his five leading scorers with promising additions from the transfer portal.
The changes appear to be paying off, as Posh Alexander (St. John's), DJ Davis (UC Irvine) and Pierre Brooks II (Michigan State) are all scoring a team-leading 13 points per game.
Of the three, Brooks will be the one to keep an eye on Friday. He grew up in Michigan and played two years at Michigan State before falling out of Izzo's rotation last season.
While the transfer trio's offensive abilities are noteworthy, it's Butler's defense that has led to the winning streak thus far. The Bulldogs are ranked 50th in Adjusted Defensive Efficiency, according to KenPom, and they boast the second-best 2-point percentage defense in the sport.
That's a scary matchup for a Michigan State offense that just hasn't been able to find its footing yet.
ESPN BET has officially launched launching their new sportsbook. Register with Action’s ESPN BET promo code TANBONUS for a welcome offer!
There were signs of life from the Spartans' offense in the Champions Classic loss against Duke. After making just two 3-pointers in the first two games of the season combined, Michigan State shot 6-of-19 from deep, and its superstar Tyson Walker made three of his own.
But spacing is a real issue. Outside of Walker, the Spartans are shooting just 4-of-37 from deep on the season. Malik Hall is the only other player with more than one made 3-point attempt.
That won't last forever, but guys like Coen Carr, Mady Sissoko, Carson Cooper and Tre Holloman are all going to play big minutes on this team, and all of them are total non-shooting threats.
It would be survivable if they had a true post threat, but Sissoko and Cooper aren't capable as low post scorers. A.J. Hoggard is the guy that needs to get going, but after the Duke game, he reportedly asked Izzo to "bench him if (he) keeps playing this bad."
Add it all up, and the net result is a lot of Walker isolations against double and triple teams. That isn't the worst emergency plan, but it's also going to lead to a lot of ugly games for a program with Final Four aspirations.
Butler vs. Michigan State
Betting Pick & Prediction
The last time these two teams met (in 2022), Michigan State handled Butler, beating the Bulldogs convincingly by 21 points.
This year feels different, as Butler has the defensive ability to make things tough on the Spartans' offense. Michigan State will have to hit 3s to cover, and that would be a surprise based on everything we've seen thus far this season.