Providence vs. Butler Odds & Picks: Thursday College Basketball Betting Guide (Dec. 29)
Photo by Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Chuck Harris (Butler)
- Providence is 2-0 in Big East play after topping Seton Hall and Marquette.
- Meanwhile, Butler is still seeking its first Big East victory of the season.
- Can the Bulldogs get it done and cover in the process? Cooper Van Tatenhove breaks it all down.
Providence vs. Butler Odds
-110o / -110u
-110o / -110u
Providence is playing its best basketball as of late, knocking off Seton Hall and Marquette in back-to-back games to stretch its current winning streak to five.
Against Marquette, Bryce Hopkins (transfer from Kentucky) had his best collegiate performance to date, racking up 29 points and 23 boards for the Friars.
On the other hand, Butler is still looking for its first Big East win of the season after dropping its first two games to Connecticut and Creighton.
The Bulldogs have an extremely balanced attack, with five players averaging double figures.
As is the norm in the Big East, this will be a highly-contested game between a Providence team that’s on a roll and a Butler team desperate for its first conference victory.
Since the emergence of Hopkins, Providence has been playing its best basketball of the season.
In their last two games, Hopkins has scored 53 points, bringing a whole new aspect to the Friars’ offense.
Hopkins has combined with Ed Croswell to bring an interior emphasis to Providence’s offense. This emphasis has resulted in the Friars scoring 55.1% of their points from the interior (79th nationally).
Additionally, this frontcourt duo has been exceptional at getting their opponents in foul trouble. The Friars score 22.2% of their points from the free-throw line (34th nationally).
This free-throw dependence will be tested against a Butler team that has proven it can defend without fouling.
The Bulldogs allow their opponents to score just 11.2% of their points from the charity stripe, one of the lowest rates in the country.
Butler also has the personnel to slow down Providence’s production in the post. Center Manny Bates, who transferred from NC State in the offseason, is one of the best rim protectors in the country, with a 8.1% block percentage (51st among D-I players).
Defensively, this is a great matchup for a Butler team that will be desperate to get its first Big East win in its home building.
To this point in the season, Butler has played one of the toughest schedules in the country (41st, according to KenPom). These tough tests did not stop in Big East play, as the Bulldogs opened up with two top-25 teams in Connecticut and Creighton.
Butler struggled offensively in both contests, failing to score more than 56 points in either matchup. Thursday’s matchup with Providence will give the Bulldogs’ offense an opportunity to get-right.
The Friars rank 110th in overall defensive efficiency, allowing teams to score just under 70 points per game. In particular, Providence is allowing its opponents to shoot 35.2% from distance, an area that has hindered Butler’s offense this season.
Through 13 games, the Bulldogs have scored just 28.5% of their points from 3-point territory, resulting in a one-dimensional, predictable offense.
Look for these numbers to improve on Thursday, as the Bulldogs have averaged 78 points per game in their home gym.
Providence vs. Butler Betting Pick
I believe this is a great spot to buy low on a Butler team that will be laser focused to take care of business at home.
Additionally, the Bulldogs have the frontcourt to be able to neutralize Hopkins, who has been the engine for Providence as of late.
I see value in the Bulldogs at anything under one possession.