Villanova Wildcats vs. Butler Bulldogs: College Basketball Betting Odds and Picks

Villanova Wildcats vs. Butler Bulldogs
Tuesday, 12/31/13, 7:30 PM EST
Opening Point Spread:  Villanova -4
Current Betting Line:  Villanova -4.5
Opening Total:  133.5
Current Total:  133.5
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

Villanova George Mason NCAA Tournament Preview
The Villanova Wildcats will look to bounce back from their first loss of the season

Villanova dropped its first game of the 2013-14 campaign last time out, as it dropped a 78-62 decision to the Syracuse Orange as four-point road underdogs last Saturday, while going OVER the betting total for the third time in four contests.  The Wildcats open up Big East Conference play in their first ever game at Hinkle Fieldhouse, as they look to improve upon their 7-5 mark in conference openers since Jay Wright became head coach in 2001-02, including a 2-4 mark on the road.  Villanova is 7-0 SU and 6-1 ATS as favorites this season.

The Wildcats will be playing six of their next nine games on the road, which is important to consider when making your college basketball betting picks.  Villanova has three projected starters averaging in double figures, with guard James Bell leading the way at 16.2 points a contest.  Over the last two-plus seasons, the program is 34-10 when scoring 70 or more points in a contest, including a perfect 10-0 mark this season.

Butler has won five games in a row, including a 66-48 victory over NJIT as 21-point home favorites last Saturday, while going UNDER the betting total in two consecutive contests.  The Bulldogs will be beginning play in their third conference in three years, as they’ve gone from the Horizon League, Atlantic 10 Conference and now the Big East.  The program has compiled a dominating 232-34 SU record at Hinkle Fieldhouse since the start of the 1995-96 season, which can’t be ignored when looking over the college basketball odds page.

The Bulldogs have two probable starters averaging in double figures, with sophomore Kellen Dunham leading the way at 18.1 points a contest.  Butler leads the Big East and is ranked 19th in major college basketball in averaging just 10.1 turnovers per game.  On the defensive end, the team is second in the conference in allowing 62.5 points per game—holding five opponents below 60 points this season.

Sports bettors will likely back the total, as the OVER is 11-5 in the Wildcats’ last 16 games overall.

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