Wednesday College Basketball Odds, Picks, Predictions: Butler Bulldogs vs. Xavier Musketeers Betting Preview

Wednesday College Basketball Odds, Picks, Predictions: Butler Bulldogs vs. Xavier Musketeers Betting Preview article feature image

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  • Xavier, which has been on a bit of a cold streak as of late, hosts Butler on Wednesday in a Big East duel.
  • The Musketeers have lost two of their last three games, while the Bulldogs have turned things around, winning two in a row.
  • Kyle Remillard breaks down the game below and offers up his best bet ahead of the showdown.

Butler vs. Xavier Odds

Wednesday, Feb. 2
7 p.m. ET
CBS Sports Network
Butler Odds
-110o / -110u
Xavier Odds
-110o / -110u
Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute college basketball odds here.

Butler is looking for revenge after losing by 15 points at home to Xavier back in early January.

The Bulldogs went 7-4 in the non-conference before dropping six of their first eight in Big East play. Five of those conference losses came by double digits against the top teams in the league. But the Bulldogs have begun to find some momentum over the last week, stringing together back-to-back wins over Creighton and Georgetown.

Xavier has hit a bit of a cold spell, dropping two of its last three. The Musketeers were close to making that three in a row when they were trailing Creighton by 17 at halftime. They erased that deficit, though — thanks to a 29-2 run to start the second half, which propelled them to a 74-64 victory.

Whether Butler can keep this matchup close against Xavier may come down to which program gets hot from the perimeter.

Butler Bulldogs

LaVall Jordan’s squad has crawled over the .500 mark, sitting at 11-10 on the season. The group ranks among the top-10 in strength of schedule to date, as it's had seven matchups against top-25 opponents.

The Bulldogs are entering this matchup fresh off of two victories over Creighton and Georgetown.

Butler was hot from outside, hitting 10-of-27 from beyond the arc in its win over Creighton. Against Georgetown, the group was ice cold, shooting 23% on its 26 3-point attempts.

But in both games the defense was elite, holding their opponents to an average of 54 points. They held the two programs to a combined 6-for-41 (15%) from outside, including the game-tying attempt from Georgetown.

Brutal loss for Georgetown against Butler. They’re now 0-7 in conference play.

— Mr Matthew CFB (@MrMatthewCFB) January 29, 2022

Perimeter defense has been a strength for Butler this season. The Bulldogs allow their opponents to take a boatload of 3s, but hold them to 31% on such attempts.

Offensively, the Bulldogs have been poor shooting the basketball, hitting 30% from outside the arc (317th) and 48% on 2-point attempts (247th). They live and die by the 3-ball, where 44% of their shot attempts come from. The squad fires away from downtown, averaging 23 attempts per game.

They have a well-balanced group, with eight scorers that put up six or more points per game.

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Xavier Musketeers

Xavier played its worst first half of the season last time out against Creighton. The group mustered just 19 total points and shot 8-for-35 (23%) from the field.

It followed that horrid stretch by playing its best half of the season, highlighted by a 29-2 run in the first seven minutes of the second half. Xavier hit 19-of-29 (66%) in the second half and converted on nine of its 12 attempts from outside.

The Xavier offense is a well-balanced group, with four players averaging in double figures. 7-foot center Jack Nunge is the leading scorer, putting up nearly 13 points per game coming off of the bench. 6-foot-5 guard Colby Jones leads the team in rebounding, snatching 8.3 per contest.

The Musketeers have been mediocre shooting the basketball this season, hitting 33% from outside (157th) and 51% on 2-point attempts (129th).

The Musketeers own a top-30 defensive efficiency rating this season. They’ve been particularly strong at snatching defensive boards and sending their opponents to the free-throw line.

How Travis Steele’s squad defends beyond the perimeter will be a deciding factor against Butler.

Butler vs. Xavier Betting Pick

Xavier opened the season 11-1 straight up and 10-2 against the spread. Since then, the team has gone 4-4 straight up and covered the number just twice. The Musketeers have lost three of their last six games straight up despite being favored in all of them.

Now, they welcome in a scrappy Butler team that has won two straight games thanks to its top-notch defense.

The first time these two teams matched up, Xavier maintained a double-digit lead throughout. The Musketeers hit 10-of-22 shots from beyond the arc, while Butler converted on just 24% of its 21 attempts.

Xavier has suffered from some shooting woes since entering Big East play. The group has shot below 30% from the perimeter in five of its eight conference matchups.

Nate Johnson is the only player for Xavier that has hit over 34% of his 3-point attempts on the season. But before the Creighton game, he had hit just four of his last 25 attempts (16%).

This number has jumped too high in favor of a program that has been on a massive downward spiral recently. I see Butler controlling the pace and forcing this into a possession-by-possession grind.

Pick: Butler +12.5 (Play to +11)

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Nick Sterling
May 29, 2024 UTC