The Villanova Wildcats (+3,800 to win the national title) remain unranked, so it could not afford to lose any games if they want to have a shot at making a return to the Top 25 AP Poll in its next update. The Butler Bulldogs (+50,000), meanwhile, can boost their chances to get an at-large bid to the national tournament, with a win against Villanova on the road this weekend.
Betting Preview for the Butler Bulldogs vs. Villanova Wildcats College Basketball Game on March 2, 2019
Where: Wells Fargo Center-PA, Philadelphia
When: Saturday, March 2, 2019, 2:00 PM ET
TV Broadcast: ESPN
Betting on the Butler Bulldogs (15-3 Overall / 6-9 Conference)
The Bulldogs are on a skid, having lost their last two games to the Marquette Golden Eagles and the Providence Friars. Butler’s offense has been partially anemic lately, as the team hasn’t scored more than 70 points in any of those aforementioned two losses. On the season, Butler is averaging 73.1 points per game. The Bulldogs are fifth in the Big East in offensive efficiency with 105.7 points produced per 100 possessions in conference play thus far. In the loss to Providence, the Bulldogs shot just 31.7 percent from the field and went 6-for-24 from deep. Interestingly, they were 23-for-29 from the free throw line. That’s a notable stat, considering that Butler is only 319th in the nation with just 15.4 free throw attempts per contest. That kind of aggressiveness was missing for Butler in its 80-72 home loss to Villanova last month, wherein the Bulldogs were just 3-for-5 from the foul line. The Bulldogs will also look to rely on their bench, which outscored Villanova’s second unit, 27-17.
The over is 2-0 in Butler’s last two road games.
Betting on the Villanova Wildcats (20-8 Overall / 11-4 Conference)
The Wildcats are struggling themselves. They have gone winless over their last three games, a streak they will look to end this Wednesday at home against Marquette. Like Butler, Villanova is having issues with its offense. The defending national champions are averaging just 64.0 points per game, significantly lower lower than their season production of 74.9 points per contest. Nevertheless, Villanova remains as the most efficient-scoring team in the Big East. According to KenPom, Villanova is making 113.9 points per 100 possessions in conference games. The Wildcats pose serious threat to Butler’s defense, as they like to stretch the floor with their outside shooting. In fact, Villanova is seventh nationally with 10.7 points per contest. In the first meeting with Butler this season, the Wildcats drilled 12 3-pointers on 26 attempts. Forward Eric Paschall, who looks ready to turn pro, hit five triples in that game and finished with a game-high 23 points, while guard Phil Booth had 17 points, five assists, and four rebounds.
Villanova is 3-0 ATS in its last three meetings with Butler.
Villanova wins, 74-65.
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