Big East Basketball Picks: #18 Creighton Bluejays at Butler Bulldogs

#18 Creighton Bluejays at Butler Bulldogs
Hinkle Fieldhouse – Indianapolis, Indiana

Thursday, February 13, 2014, 7:00 pm Eastern, TV: CBS Sports Network
Opening Line: Creighton -8
Current Line: Creighton -8
Opening Total: 136
Current Total: 136
Opening Money Line: Creighton -375 / Butler +305
Current Money Line: Creighton  -340 / Butler +280


Creighton is an 8 point favorite at Butler Thursday in Big East action.
Creighton is an 8 point favorite at Butler Thursday in Big East action.

Both Creighton and Butler joined the new look Big East this season The 19-4 Creighton Bluejays have done well in the step up in competition and are 9-2 in the Big East. Creighton is a game behind 10-1 Villanova in the standings after the Bluejays were upset last Sunday at St. John’s 70-65. The loss snapped a four game winning streak for Creighton. Butler meanwhile hasn’t enjoyed their time in the Big East so far going 12-12 overall and 2-10 in conference. The Bulldogs are tied for last with DePaul. Butler has lost 5 of their last 6 games including 3 straight. Butler lost at  Xavier 64-50 Tuesday night.

Creighton leads the series against Butler 5-3. The Bluejays beat the Bulldogs 88-60 in Omaha January 14. Creighton has won 4 straight games in the series since 1974. Butler hasn’t beaten Creighton since 1934.

Creighton is coached by Greg McDermott. The Bluejays have losses to San Diego State and George Washington in a tournament in Fullerton, CA, at Providence, and at St. John’s. Creighton has key wins at St. Joseph’s, Tulsa, Arizona State in Fullerton, at Long Beach State, Nebraska, California, Marquette, at Seton Hall, DePaul twice, Xavier, Butler, at Villanova, Georgetown and St. John’s. Creighton is 13-8 ATS and the total is 8-12-1 ATS this season.

Creighton is outscoring teams 81-66 this season. The Bluejays are #24 nationally in scoring. Creighton is shooting 48.9% from the field and 41.9% from 3 point range. The Bluejays are #12 in field goal shooting and #3 in three point shooting nationally. Creighton is #23 in free throw shooting nationally making 74.8% at the line. Bluejay opponents are shooting 40.8% from the field and 32.3% from 3 point range. Creighton is averaging  36.8 rebounds per game and opponents average 29.9 per game. The Bluejays average 18.1 assists, 10.1 turnovers, 4.6 assists and 1.6 blocks per game. Opponents average 12.3 assists, 10.5 turnovers, 5 steals and 3.2 blocks per game.

Creighton forward Doug Mcdermott (son of coach Greg) is the consensus favorite to win the national player of the year. McDermott averages 25.3 points, 7.1 rebounds, and 1.6 assists per game. Forward Ethan Ragge averages 11.6 points and 4.1 rebounds, Guard Jahenna Manigat averages 8 points, 3. rebounds, 3.2 assists and 1.3 steals per game. Guard Devin Brooks average 7.9 points, 4 rebounds, and 2.7 assists per game. Guard Austin Chapman averages 7.5 points, 3.7 rebounds and 4.2 assists per game. Guard Grant Gibbs averages 6.5 points, 3.9 rebounds and 4.5 assists per game. Will Artino, Avery Dingman and Isaiah Zierden also get minutes in the rotation.

Butler is coached by Brandon Miller in his first season. The Bulldogs have losses to Oklahoma State and LSU in a tournament in Orlando, Villanova, Xavier twice, DePaul, Georgetown twice, at Creighton, at Providence, St. John’s, and at Marquette. Butler has key wins over Lamar, Princeton, Vanderbilt, Ball State, Washington State in Orlando, North Dakota, Purdue, at Evansville, Marquette and at Seton Hall. The Bulldogs are 10-11-1 ATS and the total is 10-12 this season.

Butler is outscoring teams 70-67. The Bulldogs are shooting 43.4% from the field and 32.7% from 3 point range. Butler makes 67.4% of their free throws. The bulldogs are #222 or worse out of 351 teams in all offensive categories.  Butler opponents are shooting 44.9% from the field and 30.6% from 3 point range. Butler is #35 in three point defense nationally. The Bulldogs average 34.8 rebounds per game and opponents average 31.2. Butler averages 11.2 assists, 10.4 turnovers, 6 steals and 3 blocks per game. Bulldog opponents average 12.3 assists, 11.9 turnovers, 5.8 steals, and 3.9 blocks per game.

Butler guard Kellen Dunham averages 16.8 points, 3.8 rebounds, and 1.8 assists per game. Forward Khyle Marshall averages 14.9 points, and 4.9 rebounds per game. Forward Kameron Woods averages 8.2 points, 9 rebounds, 2.1 assists, and 1 block per game. Guard Elijah Brown averages 7 points, 2.3 rebounds, and 1.4 assists per game. Forward Andrew Chrabascz averages 6.1 points and 3 rebounds per game. Forward Erik Fromm averages 6 points and 3.4 rebounds. Guard Alex Barlow averages 5.8 points, 3.8 rebounds, 3.3 assists, and 1.8 steals per game.

Creighton is 4-1 ATS in Thursday games, 5-2 in road games, 11-5 overall, and 17-8 after a straight up loss.

Butler is 4-1 ATS in Thursday games, 19-7-2 against teams with winning road records, 2-5 after failing to cover, 2-7 after a straight up loss, 1-4 at home, 1-4-1 against teams with winning records, 2-8-1 overall and in Big East games.

Creighton is coming off an upset loss at St. John’s Sunday, but they are still very dangerous. Doug McDermott is a deadly shooter and Butler has no one that can guard him. Few teams do, of course. the last time these two teams played a month ago, McDermott torched the Bulldogs for 28 points in a rout. This looks like another blowout even in Indianapolis, but perhaps not by 28 points.

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