Butler vs. Gonzaga: College Basketball Mid-Major Foes Square Off Tuesday Night

Butler Bulldogs at Gonzaga Bulldogs
Tuesday, 12/20/11, 9:00 PM EST, TV:  ESPN2
Opening Point Spread:  Gonzaga -12.5
Current Betting Line:  Gonzaga -12.5
Opening Total:  134
Current Total:  134
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

Gonzaga and Butler will face off Tuesday night inside the McCarthey Athletic Center

Butler will need to regroup emotionally after picking up a 67-65 win over the Purdue Boilermakers as 8.5-point neutral-site underdogs.  The Bulldogs have also gone ‘over’ the total in four of their last five games versus lined competition.  Tuesday night will be just the second meeting between the two programs, with Butler coming away with a 79-71 win in the 2006 NIT Season Tip-Off at Madison Square Garden as five-point underdogs.  Over the last two-plus seasons, the program is 11-16 ATS on the road, while the ‘under’ is 14-12 in that situation.

The Bulldogs will be playing their first-ever game in the state of Washington tonight, while playing two games on the West Coast that will finish up with a game against Stanford in Palo Alto, CA.  Butler has faced a tough schedule over the last five contests, with those teams possessing a combined record of 40-10 during the 2011-12 season thus far.  Bench scoring proved to be the difference against the Boilermakers, outscoring them by a 36-9 margin.  Junior Andrew Smith was named Horizon League Player of the Week for his game-winning tip-in with just a second remaining on the clock.

Gonzaga will be hosting this mid-major clash inside the McCarthey Athletic Center and comes off a 71-60 win over the Arizona Wildcats as 4.5-point neutral-site favorites.  The Bulldogs only two losses this year have come against a pair of Big Ten Conference foes, dropping an 82-75 decision to Illinois that was followed by a 74-67 defeat to Michigan State.  The program is a dominating 93-7 inside tonight’s facility since it opened during the 2004-05 season.  Gonzaga is 13-15 ATS at home the last two-plus campaigns.

The Bulldogs have been led recently by junior forward Elias Harris, who was named the West Coast Conference’s player of the week after averaging 18.5 points and 9.0 rebounds.  Gonzaga was picked to win the conference by coaches during the preseason for a 12th straight time.  Robert Sacre is a player to watch on tonight’s broadcast, leading the team in averaging 14.9 points per game, while also collecting 7.2 boards a contest.

Bettors will likely back Gonzaga due to the program’s 7-3-1 ATS mark as a home favorite of 7 to 12.5 points, while Butler is 1-6-1 ATS versus non-conference foes.

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