The Butler Bulldogs host a Creighton Bluejays team that is still looking to replace the production of Maurice Watson, Jr. since he tore his ACL on January 16, and the strength of Butler’s résumé at home creates a likely Bulldogs victory on Tuesday night.
Butler, which began betting as a 5-point favorite to win, has risen to a 7.5-point favorite according to OddsShark. The point total, which began at 147.5 points, has risen to 150. OddsShark projects a final score of 78-77 in favor of Butler. Other than Watson’s continued absence for the remainder of the season, there is no injury or personnel news to report for this game.
The Bulldogs, a four-point loser at home against Georgetown on Saturday, are 18-4 on the season straight up but a slightly less-impressive 14-7 against the spread. In home games this season, Butler is 9-3 ATS with four Big East home wins ATS coming over Marquette, Providence, Villanova and Xavier. The Bulldogs’ only home loss ATS was their last game against Georgetown. 7-3 with the OVER on the season, Butler has won three of its last five games ATS.
Creighton, which beat DePaul on Saturday night, is 19-3 straight up and 14-5-1 ATS. 5-3 in their last eight games ATS, the Bluejays have lost two of their last four ATS. On the road Creighton is 5-1 ATS. With regards to the point total, the Bluejays are 7-1 with the OVER this season, but have only reached the OVER in one of their last eight games.
From a personnel standpoint one of the primary difference makers might be Creighton freshman center Justin Patton. Patton is shooting nearly 72 percent from the field so far this season, although his free-throw percentage on the year is a much less impressive 50 percent. The Bluejays have four players who average scoring in double figures, but the drop-off in production comes quickly after that quartet of players.
Butler might able to take advantage of being able to give some fouls, as the Bulldogs have seven players who average at least 18 minutes per game. Junior forward Kelan Martin is leading the team in both points and rebounds per game. Creighton has turned the ball over 46 more times this season than the Bulldogs have, so look for Butler to try to force the Bluejays to go away from Patton and put the ball in vulnerable positions.
PREDICTION: Butler -7.5 with the OVER. The Bulldogs just lost their first home game of the season on Saturday and already lost to this Creighton team earlier on the Bluejays’ home court by 11, so they will be motivated on both counts. Look for Butler to limit Creighton’s opportunities to get out and run and grind this win out on the strength of their depth. Bulldogs win 79-72.