Butler vs. Providence College Basketball Odds & Picks: Betting Value on Over in Big East Battle
Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: David Duke.
- The Butler Bulldogs will take on the Providence Friars in a Big East battle on Wednesday.
- The Bulldogs pulled off a 6-point win seven days ago, but now the Friars enter the rematch as favorites.
- BJ Cunningham breaks down the Big East battle below and shares a betting pick based on his analysis.
Butler vs. Providence Odds
|Butler Odds||+5.5 [BET NOW]|
|Providence Odds||-5.5 [BET NOW]|
|Moneyline||+205 / -250 [BET NOW]|
|Over/Under||138.5 [BET NOW]|
|Time||Wednesday, 5 p.m. ET|
Butler goes for a sweep on Wednesday when it travels to Rhode Island to take on Providence.
Butler defeated Providence, 70-64, a week ago by sharing the wealth with five players finishing with double digits.
The Bulldogs are still missing two starters in Christian David and Aaron Thompson, so the potential of this team has not been reached yet. However, they lost a lot of experience from last year, most notably their No. 1 scoring option, Kamar Baldwin, who took over a third of their shots last year.
LaVall Jordan has had to rely on transfers and freshmen, so we’ll see if he can get all of the pieces to fit together once again on Wednesday.
Once you get past Villanova and Creighton, the middle of the Big East is essentially up for grabs. However, Providence may just have the third-best squad in the conference this season.
The Friars are starting to get the reputation as cardiac kids, as they’ve toppled Davidson by one, Seton Hall in overtime, and DePaul in double overtime.
Ed Cooley has three starters back in 2020 and coaches one of the most fundamentally sound squads in the Big East, so the Friars are poised to battle Creighton and Villanova for the top spot in the league.
When Butler has the ball
So, what was the biggest difference for Butler in losing to Southern Illinois and beating Providence as a two-point underdog? High-percentage shots.
Butler has not shot the ball well from inside the arc, hitting shots at a 47.5% clip, per KenPom. However, against Providence, the drive-and-dish offense was working well, as Butler shot 52.5% on 2-point attempts. Butler, though, has to improve at the charity stripe, because it’s shooting a dismal 61.8% this year.
With Thompson and David on the sidelines, Butler has had to rely on two freshmen in Chuck Harris and Myles Tate in their backcourt. They’ve both filled in nicely, but South Carolina-transfer Jair Bolden has really been Buter’s main go-to scorer, leading the team with 14 points per game.
However, where Butler really excels is in the frontcourt with Bryce Nze and Bryce Golden. They are the two most experienced Bulldogs returning this season and have been monsters on the glass, leading Butler to the fifth-best defensive rebounding percentage this season.
The strength of Providence last year was its defense. However, Cooley’s squad has been the definition of average this season. It ranks 88th in defensive efficiency, per KenPom, and is right around the NCAA average in just about every advanced metric.
In the first meeting between these two teams, defense wasn’t really the issue, as Providence held Butler to only 45.6% from the field. But it did allow the Bulldogs to shoot 23 free throws.
However, since Butler shoots such a low percentage from the free-throw line, that’s almost where a team would want to put them. Bottom line, if Providence repeats the same kind of defensive performance, it should be able to beat Butler the second time around.
When Providence has the ball
For Providence to be successful on offense, it’s pretty simple: get the ball as close to the basket as possible.
The Friars have one of the best centers in the Big East in Nate Watson, who dropped 19 points on 9-of-12 shooting against Butler last week. Providence shoots 53.9% from inside the arc, which ranks 67th in the country, but its troubles offensively begin when it steps outside the arc.
In its three losses to Indiana, Alabama, and Butler, Providence shot a combined 18% from 3-point range. AJ Reeves and David Duke are two of the most experienced guards in the Big East, but they aren’t big-time 3-point shooters. Providence will need force the ball inside more often against Butler this time around rather than settling for 26 3-point attempts.
The biggest issue for Butler defensively has been defending the 3-ball. That’s one of the issues with having to rely on two freshmen in the backcourt, as they’re allowing opponents to shoot over 38% from behind the arc.
However, the unit drastically improved against Providence, allowing the Friars to shoot only 15.7% from behind the arc. Butler has also struggled to defend inside the arc, as it’s given up way too many high-percentage looks, allowing 55% on 2-point attempts.
To beat the Friars again, Butler is going to have repeat the same defensive performance from seven days ago and hold Providence to a very low percentage from the field.
Betting Analysis & Pick
For Providence to avoid the sweep, it’s going to have to either shoot a higher percentage from deep or make sure a higher percentage of its shots come from inside the arc. In the teams’ meeting a week ago, there were 68 possessions, which is right on tempo for both teams.
Given the struggles on the offensive end of the floor for both teams, I think this game is going to go under once again. I have 135.88 points projected for this game. Additionally, if Thompson is out again, that will bring the projected total even lower.
Therefore, I think there’s some value on under 138.5 points, but I wouldn’t play it any lower than that number.
Pick: Under 138.5.