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2017 March Madness Round of 32 – Butler Bulldogs vs. Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders Predictions, Picks and NCAA Basketball Betting Preview

2017 March Madness Round of 32 – Butler Bulldogs vs. Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders Predictions, Picks and NCAA Basketball Betting Preview


No. 4 Butler Bulldogs vs. No. 12 Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders Preview

Where: BMO Harris Bradley Center— Milwaukee, Wisconsin

When: Saturday, March 18, 2017 – 7:10 PM ET

Line: Butler Bulldogs (-3.5) vs. Middle Tennessee State (+3.5); total: 140.0 – view all NCAA Basketball lines


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Betting on the Butler Bulldogs (24-8, 12-6 Big East)

Point Spread: -3.5

Butler topped Winthrop in the first round, 76-64, after doing what they do best, which is providing an unpredictable attack. The team’s leading scorer, Kelan Martin, was quiet (10 points in 17 minutes), but Avery Woodson came out of nowhere once again to score a game-high 18.

Against Middle Tennessee State, the same can be expected from the Bulldogs. Martin (15.9 PPG) and Andrew Chrabascz (11 PPG) remain as the top two threats for the defense, but Woodson and Kamar Baldwin are also in separate stretches where they are putting up double-digit points per contest, while also shooting 49 percent or better.

The Bulldogs are 5-2 in their last seven games (4-3 ATS), and they are scoring 78.7 PPG on 50.2 percent shooting in that span. To top it all off, they do a good job of protecting the ball, as they only commit under 10 errors every game.

Betting on the Middle Tennessee State (31-4, 17-1 CUSA)

Point Spread: +3.5

The Blue Raiders are at it again. They made it out of the first round as huge underdogs for the second straight year, thanks to good defense and an even better offense. Thursday’s 81-72 win over Minnesota had them shooting 48.2 percent from the field, dishing out 19 dimes, and making an efficient seven of 13 attempts from beyond the arc.

Their top three scorers – JaCorey Williams (17.2 PPG), Giddy Potts (15.8 PPG), and Reggie Upshaw (14.6 PPG) – each scored in double figures, with Upshaw posting a game-high 19 – 16 of which came in the second half. Potts, meanwhile, chipped in 15 points and five assists.

With Middle Tennessee possessing a team-oriented offense for the most part, the clash with the similarly-schemed Butler could be interesting. The Bulldogs are rated 25 places higher in the offensive efficiency rankings, but the Blue Raiders certainly appear to have more explosive scorers.

Momentum could also be on Middle Tennessee’s side, since they are 21-1 in their last 22 games (15-7 ATS). That domination has the team winning by an average of 14 points and holding foes to just 41.3 percent shooting.

Writer’s Prediction

Middle Tennessee (+3.5) escapes, 75-72.

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JE
Written by JE

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