Creighton at Butler Spread, Betting Pick & TV Info
When: Tuesday, Jan. 31, 7 PM ET
Where: Hinkle Fieldhouse, Indianapolis
TV: Fox Sports 1
Stream: Fox Sports Go
Radio: Creighton / Butler
Opening NCAAB Lines: Butler favored TBA
Why Bet On Creighton?The Bluejays have been struggling some since losing their heart-and- soul and probably most important player, Maurice Watson Jr., to a season-ending knee injury a few games ago. He was the key to that high-powered offense and led the nation in assists. The Bluejays do come off an 83-66 home win over a bad DePaul team on Saturday to end a two-game losing streak.
Creighton never trailed Saturday, catapulting ahead by double digits before seven minutes had elapsed. CU soon stretched its advantage to 32-11 — and the closest DePaul could get from there was when it briefly cut the deficit to nine points early in the second half.
The Jays had five dunks and eight layups. Their 17 fast-break points were the most this up-tempo offense has produced in a Big East game this year. They shot 55.8 percent from the floor — the first time they’ve made at least half of their field goals since the lopsided victory over Division II Truman State four games ago. They even had 20 assists on 29 made field goals — good for an assist rate of 69 percent, which was their second-best mark of the season.
Coach Greg McDermott says he will continue to play the hot hand at point guard. It’s been a three-man team at the position since senior Watson tore his ACL. Senior Isaiah Zierden, freshman Davion Mintz and junior Tyler Clement have shared playing time. On Saturday, Mintz started, but Clement ended up running the offense for longer stretches.
“We went more with Tyler because things seemed to operate a little bit better when he was on the floor,” McDermott said. “He was the one that was most effective, so we rode him a little longer.”
Clement finished with three points, five assists and four rebounds in 23 minutes off the bench — his most productive Big East game of the year.
Why Bet On Butler?Butler will fall in the polls after being upset 85-81 at home against Georgetown on Saturday to end the Bulldogs’ 14-game home winning streak. The loss demonstrated how vulnerable the Bulldogs really are. After allowing 29 percent shooting in Wednesday’s 61-54 win at Seton Hall, they allowed 64 percent to Georgetown. The Hoyas are having a down year. They had not won a Big East road game in more than a year, losing seven in a row.
For the first time in 31 games under Coach Chris Holtmann, Butler scored 80 points – and lost. For the first time in 26 games under Holtmann, Butler shot better than 50 percent – and lost. There was little wrong with the offense. After beginning 4-of- 13, the Bulldogs shot 62 percent and finished at 54.5 percent. The Bulldogs’ 16 assists were the most in 14 games (since a Dec. 3 win over Central Arkansas).
Kelan Martin came out of a shooting funk, hitting 8-of- 15 and scoring 22 points … but was benched for the closing three minutes after a turnover. Andrew Chrabascz scored 16 on 5-of- 7 shooting and 6-of- 6 free throws. In 16 first-half minutes, point guard Tyler Lewis was 2-of- 2 on 3s and added four assists. Lewis wasn’t on the floor at the end, either. Nate Fowler scored six points in seven first-half minutes and did not play in the second half.
“This is a disappointing result,” said Holtmann. “You have to give Georgetown a lot of credit. We had no answer for them. They made some tough shots, but that’s what they do. But I didn’t think we had near the defensive presence we needed tonight. We allowed them to get comfortable.”
Entering the game, the Bulldogs were averaging only 9.9 turnovers per game. That mark is third nationally. Butler had a season-low four turnovers – including none in the second half – against Marquette Jan. 16. The Bulldogs have posted 10 or fewer miscues in 11 games this season, including only six in the overtime game at DePaul Jan. 21. Butler’s turnover margin of +4.0 leads the Big East and is 13th nationally. Butler is 10-1 this season when committing 10 or fewer turnovers.