College Basketball Odds & Picks for Villanova vs. Butler: Will Cats Have Motivation in Big East Duel?
Photo by John Fisher/Getty Images. Pictured: Aaron Thompson (Butler)
- Villanova travels to Butler to take on the Bulldogs in a Big East clash on Saturday.
- The Wildcats don't have much to play for, as the Big East regular season title is wrapped up by Providence and Nova earned the No. 2 seed in the Big East Tournament.
- Kyle Remillard breaks down why Butler is the play here.
Villanova vs. Butler Odds
-110o / -110u
-110o / -110u
Butler will have revenge on its mind in its final game of the regular season.
It was a disappointing season for LaVall Jordan’s group, which went just 6-13 in Big East play.
The Bulldogs struggled to close games out, as eight of their 13 conference losses came by seven or less points. But that wasn’t the case when Butler traveled to Villanova earlier in the season — it lost by a whopping 40 points.
Villanova lost its chance at another Big East regular season championship. However, the Wildcats have won six of their last seven games, and hope to end the season on a high note.
It’s easy to imagine us seeing a fired-up Butler program that will want to end its season with a marquee victory in a revenge spot.
The Wildcats’ offense ranks seventh in the nation in terms of efficiency. They have six players who average above nine points per game, but it’s been the dynamic duo in the backcourt that has been the difference maker this season.
Collin Gillespie and Justin Moore lead the team in field goal attempts, points, assists and steals. Gillespie has been spectacular this season, hitting 91% from the charity stripe and 43% from beyond the arc.
Villanova’s offense takes 45% of its shot attempts from deep. Gillespie and Moore lead the team, hitting a combined 40% of their 387 attempts. Meanwhile, the rest of the roster has converted on just 32% of their attempts.
The Wildcats’ defense has taken a step back over the last seven games, specifically defending the perimeter. Each of their last five opponents have made more than eight 3-pointers.
During that span, Villanova’s opponents have hit 49-of-131 attempts from beyond the arc (37%). Though Butler hasn’t shot the ball well, it won’t be afraid to fire away from deep.
Butler has had a disappointing year, but it has an opportunity to head into the Big East Tournament with some momentum.
The Bulldogs aren’t shy about chucking up 3-pointers, as 42% of their shot attempts come from beyond the perimeter.
The team hits at just a 31% clip, but it has proven capable of catching fire on any given night. Butler has made 10 or more 3-pointers in five separate matchups this season, four of which were victories.
But in the Bulldogs’ blowout loss to Villanova earlier in the season, they shot just 30% from the field, their lowest mark of the season by far.
The Bulldogs’ strength comes on the defensive end of the floor. The group has been specifically strong at defending the perimeter, holding opponents to just 31% from deep.
That will be crucial in this matchup, as the way to compete with Villanova is to contain Gillespie and Moore from deep.
Villanova vs. Butler Betting Pick
Jay Wright’s program plays with a bottom-10 tempo in the country. Butler isn’t far behind the Wildcats, ranking 341st in the country in the same stat. With each team utilizing an average of nearly 20 seconds off the shot clock, this game should be played at one of the slowest paces of the day.
Villanova hit 12-of-19 (63%) from 3-point range in the first matchup vs. Butler. Since that game, opponents have shot just 29% against the improved Bulldogs defense.
Butler has lost four games in a row and is desperate to end its season on a high note. Three of those four losses have gone down to the wire, including an overtime defeat to Providence.
The Bulldogs will be hungry to avenge their historic 40-point loss from earlier in the season. Villanova has already locked up the 2-seed in the Big East Tournament and doesn’t have much reason to get up for this matchup.
That could leave the Wildcats vulnerable in this matchup.
I’m backing Butler to keep things close at home on Senior Night.