College Basketball Odds, Picks and Predictions for DePaul vs. Butler (Wednesday, Dec. 29)
Mitchell Layton/Getty Images. Pictured: Javon Freeman-Liberty
- Updated DePaul vs. Butler odds list the Bulldogs as a 2-point favorite, as this line has flipped over the last 18 hours. The Blue Demons opened as a small favorite last night.
- DePaul has been playing some inspired basketball, however, and Butler has been blown out in most of its tough games.
- Get Kyle Remillard's full DePaul vs. Butler preview and pick below.
DePaul vs. Butler Odds
-110o / -110u
-110o / -110u
DePaul travels to Indiana to match up against Butler, as each side looks to open Big East play with a victory.
Through the first month of the season, DePaul was one of the front runners for comeback team of the year.
The Blue Demons didn’t start last season until December 23rd due to COVID and finished with a 5-14 record. The group was outscored by an average of 14 points per game, which led to head coach Dave Leitao getting canned.
Tony Stubblefield has taken over as head coach and has done a complete 180 with the program through 10 games. The group is 9-1 and is now outscoring opponents by 14 points per contest.
The Blue Demons own impressive victories over Rutgers and Louisville, with their sole loss coming to Loyola Chicago by four points.
They match up against Butler, which is 7-4 on the season. Besides its win over Oklahoma, Butler has only found victories over opponents that rank outside the top 240 in the nation.
When matching up against top-100 opponents, Butler has been outscored by an average score of 69-50.
Whoever can dictate the tempo in this matchup will have a significant edge in starting Big East play with their first victory.
DePaul thrives by playing at a blistering pace that ranks 32nd in Adjusted Tempo. That has led the Blue Demons to the 13th scoring offense, averaging over 81 points per contest.
DePaul’s offense is spearheaded by senior guard Javon Freeman-Liberty, who is averaging 20.9 points and 8.3 rebounds per game. Freeman-Liberty has scored 20 or more points in seven of his 10 games this season. He’s connected on 35% of his 51 3-point attempts.
He’s complemented by three other scorers who average in double digits this season.
Forward David Jones averaged just five points per game last season, but has boosted that number to 17.1 this year. He exploded against Louisville by hitting 15-of-22 from the field, scoring 33 points and grabbing 14 rebounds.
DePaul hasn’t been great at shooting from behind the arc — hitting just 32% — but the offense only takes 24% of its shot attempts from 3-point range, which ranks 317th nationally. The Blue Demons focus on getting out in transition and getting to the hoop, where they hit 55% of their shot attempts.
Defensively, the group has been all-around efficient by holding opponents to 31% from 3-point range and 45% inside the arc — both rank among the top-100 nationally.
Butler relies on playing slow-paced games, which is highlighted through its 351st Adjusted Tempo rating. The group ranks outside the top-340 nationally in average Offensive Possession Length.
The slow tempo has led to the Bulldogs scoring 60 points per game (322nd) and allowing 61 per game (34th).
The group has been strong defensively by holding seven opponents to below 60 points this season. They’ve been able to limit perimeter looks, holding opponents to 30% from 3-point territory.
But the Bulldogs have gotten dominated inside the paint by letting opponents convert on 53% of their attempts, which is 298th nationally.
It’s been a nightmare offensively for Butler, which has scored no more than 52 points in its four games against top-100 opponents.
The root cause of that is Butler hasn’t been able to take care of the basketball because it has turned it over on 22% of its offensive possessions.
Butler’s been awful shooting the basketball, as it ranks outside the top 250 in field goal percentage through 11 games. 46% of the team’s field goal attempts come from behind the arc, though, it connects on just 32% of those shots.
The Bulldogs have been just as bad on 2-point attempts, hitting 47%, which ranks 265th nationally. Life won’t get any easier in this matchup, as DePaul has thrived at defending the 3-point line.
DePaul vs. Butler Betting Pick
Whichever team can dictate the tempo will have a major advantage. Butler ranks 351st in Adjusted Tempo while averaging 60 points per game. Meanwhile, DePaul ranks 34th in Adjusted Tempo while putting up 81 points per contest.
DePaul will likely be the side to win the pace battle. The Blue Demons will capitalize on the turnover-prone Butler offense that has coughed the ball up on 22% of its possessions. That will create transition opportunities for DePaul, which wants to get out and run every opportunity it gets.
Butler has been awful shooting the basketball this year, ranking outside the top 250 in 2-point and 3-point field goal attempts. Those misses will present more opportunities for DePaul to push the tempo.
Butler’s 7-4 record is deceiving as it has only beaten one opponent that ranks better than 240th in the country. The Bulldogs have lost by an average of 19 points when facing quality opponents this season.
Look for that trend to continue as they open Big East play against a rejuvenated DePaul roster that has turned things around from last season.
Pick: DePaul (Play to -3)
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