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Butler Bulldogs at Villanova Wildcats Betting Preview (2020)

Written by:
C Costigan
Published on:
Jan/22/2020

The Big East Conference is once again shaping up to be a tightly contested battle for the conference crown when the regular season comes to a close in a few months. While Seton Hall is currently undefeated and atop the conference standings, the current top-half teams in the conference each seem capable of making a run at the regular season title. Villanova hasn’t been overly impressive this season, but the Wildcats have avoided any bad losses so far this year with only one signature win against the Kansas Jayhawks. After Butler began the season at a torrid pace with a 15-1 record, the Bulldogs have cooled off of late with consecutive losses against unranked Big East foes.

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Wildcats Aiming to Remain in Big East’s Top Tier

Villanova enters Tuesday night’s crucial clash as winners of four straight contests, including two consecutive home victories by single digit margins. The Wildcats have yet to lose a game on their home court this season, with two road defeats and a neutral site loss as the only blemishes in a 14-3 season. Despite a perfect 9-0 record at Finnernan Pavilion on the season, Villanova has won its past five home contests by just an average of 6.1 points per game. Simply put, the Wildcats have been anything but dominant this season, particularly against Big East opponents.

 

The heart and soul of Villanova is junior guard Collin Gillespie and his 13.9 points and 4.5 assists per game on the year. Saddiq Bey leads the Wildcats attack with 15.1 points per game on 50.3% shooting from the floor as he paces an offense that features five scorers in double digits on the season. As a team, Villanova is averaging 74.8 points per game and allowing 66.8, both ranking in the middle of the conference. The Wildcats have been middle of the pack on both ends of the floor, making them difficult to trust to maintain the level of success they’ve found through the first half of the season.

Butler Looking to Regain Elite Form

One week ago, Butler was 15-1 on the year and ranked 5th in the country. After a pair of losses in Big East play, the Bulldogs have dropped to 13th in the rankings and find themselves in need of a win to get back on track towards pursuing a conference title. A pair of seniors lead the Butler offensive attack with guard Kamar Baldwin (15.1 ppg) and forward Sean McDermott (11.5 ppg) as the team’s top scoring threats. Despite playing at a slow offensive pace, the Bulldogs do lead the conference with a 47.1% shooting percentage this season.

 

The Bulldogs have scored 68.7 points per game on the year, worst in the high-flying and offensive friendly Big East Conference. Butler has been able to counter their offensive ineptitude with the country’s fifth-ranked scoring defense, allowing only 57.1 points per game on the season. In their two consecutive losses, the Bulldogs have given up an average of 78.5 points per game, a mark that their offense has been unable to keep up with.

 

Despite their recent stretch, Butler seems like the better team overall, and the Bulldogs just need this one more than Villanova at this point in the year. While the regular season conference crown is still in play for both teams, I trust the consistency of Butler’s defense to put together a more complete performance than Villanova’s mediocre offense. Look for Butler to get back on track Tuesday night and return to their winning ways from earlier in the season. I’m predicting a one possession game in Philadelphia, with Butler’s defense making enough plays to keep this one close and quite possibly emerging victorious for the road upset. Take Butler as the underdog in this game. Bet the Bulldogs +3.5 at PayPerHead247.com ; which is our top pay per head bookie site.

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