Villanova vs. Butler Odds & Picks | Friday’s College Basketball Betting Guide (Jan. 13)
Pictured: Eric Hunter Jr. #2 of the Butler Bulldogs. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
- Butler hosts Villanova in a matchup of Big East teams looking to get back on track.
- Both of these squads are riding two-game losing streak, but which team will get back in the win column?
- Cooper Van Tatenhove digs into the odds and offers up a best bet below.
Villanova vs. Butler Odds
-110o / -110u
-110o / -110u
Winning consistently in the Big East is no easy task, just ask Villanova and Butler, who have lost their past two in conference.
Villanova’s most recent loss came in an upset on the road against DePaul, and Butler has lost two straight on the road to Seton Hall and St. John’s.
For the Bulldogs to get back in the win column they will need to find consistency on the offensive end as they averaged just 56 points in their past two games.
Butler will have an opportunity to find that consistency against a Villanova squad that has struggled defensively and allowed 81.5 points per game in its past two contests.
In order to get a better idea of which team will get back on track, let’s look at the odds, and make a prediction for the Villanova Wildcats vs. the Butler Bulldogs.
Villanova will have to better on the defensive end to get back on track. The Wildcats rank 122nd in overall defensive efficiency due to an inability to guard the perimeter and force pressure.
Villanova is allowing teams to score 37% of their points from beyond the three-point line, which is the 32nd highest rate in the country. The Wildcats combine this with a `17.5% turnover percentage, which makes for a defense opponents have exploited.
The inability to defend the perimeter is important to note as Villanova faces a Butler team struggling from beyond the arc. The Bulldogs shot just 27% from three-point range in their past two games, though I expect those numbers to increase against Villanova’s suspect perimeter defense.
Offensively, Villanova is driven by the duo of guard Caleb Daniels and center Eric Dixon. These Villanova veterans are averaging 32.6 points and 11.3 boards per game.
In order to stymie Villanova’s offense, Butler will need to make Daniels uncomfortable, as he is used in a team high 25.7% of possession with a 22.9% assist rate.
In order to accomplish this, Butler will look to senior guard Eric Hunter Jr., who has been effective at defending without fouling. Hunter has a 2.6% steal percentage and is only committing 1.8 fouls per game.
Overall, Butler has the matchups necessary to be more than competitive on Friday night.
Butler will return home to Hinkle Field house desperate for a win after losing five of its first seven conference games.
The Bulldogs have struggled to score against Big East opponents, averaging just under 60 points per game in conference. Butler has a balanced offense with five players averaging double figures. Although balanced, Butler has struggled to find a go-to-guy offensively.
The Butler offense has been most successful when point-guard Eric Hunter Jr. is at his best. In the Bulldogs past four games, Hunter is averaging 17 points in the two victories and three points in the two losses.
The importance of Hunter can be further reflected in Evan Miya’s BPR rankings. Hunter ranks first on the team in overall BPR, and a full 0.4 points higher than any other player in offensive BPR.
I like this matchup for Hunter as he will go up against Caleb Daniels, who hasn’t been overly productive defensively. Daniels has a steal percentage of just 1.9% while committing 3.5 fouls per game.
As a whole, Villanova’s defense has struggled creating pressure and is turning over opponents on just 17.5% of offensive possessions. This low turnover rate can be attributed to an 8% steal percentage, which ranks 282nd nationally.
On the defensive side, head coach Thad Matta will have a plan to take away Villanova’s outside shooting. Butler has allowed opponents to score just 27.8% of their points from beyond the arc, the 52nd-lowest rate in the country.
This perimeter defense will be crucial against a Villanova team shooting the fifth-highest number of three-point attempts per game (49% of their total field goal attempts).
Villanova vs. Butler Betting Pick
It is no secret both Villanova and Butler will be desperate to win this game. The winner will snap a two-game losing streak, while the loser will be on a three-game skid.
I think the value lies in backing a Butler side highly motivated to defend its home court.
The Bulldogs’ perimeter defense will limit the amount of three-point attempts Villanova is able to get up. This is significant because Villanova scores 37.7% of its points from three-point range (30th nationally).
This is also a perfect get-right game for Butler’s Eric Hunter Jr.
In what is surely to be another highly contested Big East battle, I predict Butler to stay undefeated at home.
What is QuickSlip?
QuickSlip is an Action Network feature that allows users to automatically pre-load their bet slip at FanDuel Sportsbook.