Butler vs Marquette Odds, Prediction: Bet Saturday’s Favorite

Butler vs Marquette Odds, Prediction: Bet Saturday’s Favorite article feature image

Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images. Pictured: Tyler Kolek (Marquette)

Butler vs Marquette Odds

Saturday, Feb. 4
2 p.m. ET
Butler Odds
-110o / -110u
Marquette Odds
-110o / -110u
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute college basketball odds here.

Marquette hosts Butler on Saturday looking to keep pace with Xavier at the top of the Big East standings.

Fueled by the nation’s best offense, the Golden Eagles appear destined for a top-three seed in March.

The Bulldogs, on the other end, limp into Saturday's game sporting a four-game losing streak. It’s been a disappointing season for Butler under new-but-not-so-new head coach Thad Matta.

Let's break down this matchup between Marquette and Butler below.

Butler Bulldogs

Butler’s 12-point win over Kansas State back on Nov. 30 seems impossible given what we know today.

The Dogs have been nothing short of atrocious in Big East play. In their nine conference losses this season, Butler has fallen by an average of 20.9 points per game — good teams have been blowing the Dogs away on a consistent basis.

Butler’s only three wins have come against league punching bags, DePaul and Georgetown, and a short-handed Villanova squad.

Given Butler’s Big East performance to date, we might be in store for another 20-plus point blowout.

Add in the fact that Marquette has fared extremely well at home this season (12-1 straight up, 9-4 against the spread), and you might as well get the spits ready to roast some Bulldog over the open fire.

Butler’s offense has been the primary source of its trouble. The Dogs rank dead last in the league in Adjusted Offensive Efficiency, with a paltry 0.898 points per possession against Big East foes.

Only three teams nationally — Merrimack, Florida A&M and Long Island — have worse efficiency numbers for the entire season.

Poor shot selection by Butler’s talented yet erratic guards, an inability to finish around the rim and an inability to get second-chance opportunities have doomed the Bulldogs on this end.

Marquette’s weakness defensively is its interior defense. The Golden Eagles rank 255th nationally in field goal attempt rate allowed near the rim and 159th in field goal percentage allowed near the rim (per Hoop-Math).

Extending its pressure the length of the floor — which leads to solid ball-handling teams finding openings behind the last line of defense — and a lack of frontcourt size (relatively speaking) has contributed to Marquette’s interior struggles.

Butler has competent ball handlers in Chuck Harris, Simas Lukosius and Eric Hunter Jr. Though decision making can be a real issue, this trio has done a solid job at managing turnovers this season.

Breaking Marquette’s press is the first step to scoring on it consistently.

6-foot-11 center Manny Bates should be a focus for the Dogs on this end all game, whether via post-ups, cuts to the hoop or rolls off ball screens. He has a size and strength advantage over Marquette’s talented frontcourt.

Whether Butler can execute a disciplined game plan revolving around Bates for a full 40 minutes remains to be seen.

Marquette can easily stop this plan by sending a double and daring Butler’s guards to beat it with tough perimeter shots.

Each of Butler’s three primary ball handlers — plus Jayden Taylor — can shoot and have had success shooting this season, but they are prone to jacking up ill-advised looks, which culminate over the span of a game into a giant snowball of inefficiency.

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Marquette Golden Eagles

When Marquette has the ball, the scorer at the scoring table should have his or her finger hovering over the “add” button on every possession.

The Golden Eagles not only have the best offense in the Big East, but also the best offense in the entire country.

Execution and unselfishness leads the way for Marquette. Every player is a willing passer, and point guard Tyler Kolek is as rock-solid with the ball as they come in college basketball.

Kolek ranks eighth nationally in assist rate, and in conference play, over 56% of Marquette’s buckets have been assisted.

Per ShotQuality, the Golden Eagles rank 18th nationally in “Rim & 3 Rate," a self-explanatory stat that emphasizes the quality of looks each team gets on offense. Per Hoop-Math, only 23 teams nationally have a smaller percentage of their shots coming from 2-point jumpers.

Marquette executes offensively and gets good looks — it leads the country in 2-point field goal percentage at 60.6%, a number that has only been sustained in Big East play.

The Golden Eagles also don't turn the ball over, leading the Big East in turnover rate and ranking 17th nationally. It’s hard to stop a team that always gets a good shot, rarely misses and doesn’t make mistakes.

It’s even harder if you’re a poor defensive team.

Butler’s ninth-ranked Big East defense is sure to get burned by Marquette on Saturday. The Dogs have a capable shot-blocker in Bates, but they still can’t stop penetration and allow a high-scoring success rate inside the arc.

Only four teams in Big East play have scored less than 1.10 points per possession (PPP) on the Bulldogs this season, and one of those was Villanova, which managed 1.09 PPP.

Marquette should score at will.

Butler vs Marquette Betting Pick

It’s hard seeing this one staying close.

Butler hasn’t competed with a good Big East team all season, and we’ve seen this Dogs team simply give up if down big early.

Marquette’s pressure and athleticism will likely prove to be too much even for Butler’s sure-handed backcourt, and there’s just no stopping the Golden Eagles on the other end of the floor.

Lay the massive amount of points and back the nation’s best offensive squad.

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