Friday College Basketball Betting: How to Approach Butler-Creighton, Brown-Yale
Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Ty-Shon Alexander
With only six games on the Friday college basketball slate, some would recommend taking a day off to prepare for Saturday.
There are two home teams worth a long look with Creighton hosting Butler and Yale hosting Brown.
Let’s examine these two conference battles.
Betting Odds: Butler Bulldogs at Creighton Bluejays
- Spread: Creighton -2
- Over/Under: 153.5
- Time: 8:30 p.m. ET
- TV: Fox Sports 1
Butler (12-8) has been inconsistent all season. The Bulldogs haven’t won more than two games in a row since opening the season with a three-game winning streak. They’re only 1-4 on the road and an underwhelming 2-3 against the spread.
Creighton (11-8) has exceeded expectations with a very young team. The Bluejays were picked ninth in the preseason poll for the 10 team Big East. They are explosive offensively at home, averaging an incredible 93.8 points over their last seven games in Omaha.
Butler has struggled both inside and outside the arc defensively, which could cause problems Friday. The Bulldogs rank 173rd against the three-pointer and 190th defending the 2-pointers. They don’t disrupt in the paint either, ranking 316th in blocks per game.
On offense, Butler seems prolific from 3-point range shooting a strong 37.4% overall. However, in recent road games at Florida and Seton Hall, the Bulldogs were a combined 22.7% (10 of 44).
Creighton has one of the most prolific offenses in the country. They are first overall in effective field goal percentage and fourth nationally in 3-point percentage.
Their offense is so potent at home, they almost upset Gonzaga (103-92) and Marquette (106-104 OT). The Bluejays have three players with 79 or more 3-point attempts shooting over 40%. Sophomores Ty-Shon Alexander (40%) and Mitch Ballock (46.3%) are particularly lethal from deep.
The point spread should make the casual bettors curious. Butler beat Creighton by 84-69 on Jan. 5, and led by 18 at the half. Why would Creighton actually be favored by two points?
The Bluejays have suffered some tough luck losses at home this season, but they always score big. The Bulldogs have only broken 90 points once this year and will need to do so to stay competitive in this game.
THE PICK: Creighton -2
Brown Bears at Yale Bulldogs
- Spread: Yale -7
- Over/Under: 149.5
- Time: 7 p.m. ET
- TV: ESPN+
Yale (11-3) challenged itself with a strong non-conference schedule. The Bulldogs lost in double-overtime at Memphis and beat Miami 77-73 in Florida. They’re a perfect 5-0 and home and 3-1 at home against the spread.
Brown (12-5) already lost to this same Yale team in their Ivy League home opener last Saturday, and the Bears are 4-4 ATS and 0-6 ATS in its last six Ivy League games dating back to last year.
Brown’s defense is statistically strong, ranking 51st overall in adjusted defensive efficiency. They are also fifth-best nationally against the 3-pointer, holding opponents to just 27.2%.
Brown’s offense, however, can really struggle. It ranks 226th overall in adjusted offensive efficiency and 212th in 3-point percentage. In last week’s game against Yale, the Bears shot only 38.4% from the field in a home game.
The Bulldogs feature a similar defense with a much more potent offense. Yale is 28th in the country in adjusted offensive efficiency while holding opponents to just 30.9% from 3.
On offense, the Bulldogs are the 12th best team in the country per effective field goal percentage and shoot a superb 56.7% from inside the arc. Yale was able to still manage a 47.5% field goal percentage against Brown on its home court.
On the surface, this looks like a close game. But when you consider that the only team to beat Yale in the last 11 contests was Duke, it makes the hurdle that much bigger for Brown.
Yale hasn’t lost at home to Brown since 2010. The Bulldogs strong defense and vastly superior offense add up to a double-digit win.
THE PICK: Yale -7