Could be a major letdown game for Butler on Tuesday night as the Bulldogs visit No. 5 Xavier in Big East action. That’s because Butler comes off handing former No. 1 Villanova its first loss of the season. The Musketeers only have one loss themselves and are solid NCAAB odds favorites.
Butler at Xavier NCAAB Odds & Game InfoFox Sports GoRadio: PNC Butler Radio Network (Butler) / (Xavier)Opening NCAAB Odds: Xavier -7
Last SeasonThe schools met three times last year. Butler won the first two but lost to Xavier 62-57 in the Big East Tournament. In that game, Trevon Bluiett scored 23 points, including a tough foul line jumper that broke the game’s final tie with 16 seconds left. After that, Butler’s Kamar Baldwin missed a 3-point attempt and Tyler Lewis missed a jumper, two chances to tie or go ahead and Xavier added a free throw and a dunk at the buzzer for the final margin. Kelan Martin had 15 points to lead the Bulldogs, who have never won a game in four Big East Tournaments.Xavier leads the series with Butler 38-20. Xavier has won 17 of the last 23 meetings, including 10 of the last 14. XU holds a 7-3 advantage since the two teams became Big East rivals.
Why Bet on Butler?The Bulldogs (12-3, 2-0) beat No. 1 Villanova 101-93 on Saturday. Butler shot 60 percent from the field and an amazing 68 percent (15 for 22) from 3-point range. Villanova wasn’t far behind. It shot 54 percent, had only four turnovers and was soundly defeated.Martin led the Butler charge with 24 points on 7-of-12 shooting. He hit all four of his three-point attempts and added eight rebounds. Martin has four double-doubles, and has led the Bulldogs in scoring nine times this season. His 29 points against Utah Dec. 5 were a season-high and the third-best scoring output of his Butler career. Martin has 30 career 20-point outings (nine this season) and has led the team in scoring 40 times in his Butler career.Paul Jorgensen had a career-high 23 points, with 16 coming in the first half. Three first-half bombs came during the final 3:19 of the first half as Butler hit five three-pointers and all six of its field goal attempts to close the half and take a 53-45 advantage. Baldwin had 19 points, nine rebounds and a career-best seven assists. Butler assisted on 20 of its 36 makes. Sean McDermott (10), Nate Fowler (eight) and Henry Baddley (eight) came off the bench and combined for 26 points on 10-of-11 shooting for the Bulldogs.
How is Butler Doing This Season?Butler is now 3-5 all-time against teams ranked No. 1 in the country; in addition to a 2012 win over Indiana, two of those wins have come against Villanova during the 2017 calendar year. Butler has now won three straight meetings against the Wildcats. Butler’s three wins over No. 1-ranked teams since the beginning of the 2012-13 season are the most of any team in the nation during that span.Butler is 9-0 this season when scoring 80 or more points, and 11-0 when scoring north of 70. The Bulldogs are 10-0 when shooting a better field goal percentage than their opponent and 9-0 when shooting better than 50 percent from the field.
Why Bet on Xavier?The Musketeers (14-1, 2-0) have only lost to a very good Arizona State team and have wins over ranked foes Baylor and Cincinnati. Their No. 5 ranking ties for the best in school history. Xavier was last ranked No. 5 for three separate stints during the 2015-16 season. The Musketeers weren’t able to punch higher than the fifth spot as they lost a game every time they were ranked No. 5. They finished the season with a 4-4 record while ranked at No. 5. Xavier last played as the fifth-ranked team at the 2016 Big East Tournament where they beat Marquette March 10, 2016 and lost to Seton Hall the following day.They come off a 77-72 home win over DePaul on Saturday. J.P. Macura scored 19 points and had a steal and a blocked shot in the final minute, completing the Musketeers’ rally from a 16-point deficit. The Musketeers’ ninth straight win let them match the best start in school history. They’ve won seven in a row against DePaul.Macura added a team-high five assists, while pulling down six rebounds. He also had a team-high four steals as the Musketeers finished the game with a season-high 13 steals. Defensively, the Musketeers forced the Blue Demons into a season-high 23 turnovers. Xavier converted the miscues into 23 points. Bluiett finished with 16 points, seven rebounds, two assists and two steals. The senior was also 6-for-6 from the foul line.
How Well Has the Muskateers Done this Season?Xavier’s 14-1 record equals the best start in XU history after 15 games. The 2015-16 team won 16 games before its second loss. Xavier is second in the Big East and 12th nationally in field goal percentage at .514. Sophomore forward Tyrique Jones leads the conference at 69.5 percent.XU leads the Big East and is second in the nation in free-throw percentage at 80.3. That number jumps to 86.6 percent for the last five minutes and 94.4 percent for the last two minutes of games. Xavier has six players shooting over 79 percent. Bluiett is fourth in the Big East in scoring at 19.7 ppg. He is sixth on XU’s all-time scoring list (four points shy of the top five) with 1,881 points. Sophomore guard Quentin Goodin is second in the Big East and 30th in the nation in assists at 5.9 apg.
Latest NCAAB Odds Trends
- Butler is 6-3 ATS in its last 9 games
- Butler is 9-1 SU in its last 10 games
- The total has gone OVER in 5 of Butler’s last 5 games
- Xavier is 18-5 ATS in its last 23 games
- Xavier is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games
- The total has gone OVER in 10 of Xavier’s last 15 games