Villanova at Butler Odds, Free Pick & TV Info

Posted by Kenny Bell on Tuesday,January 3, 2017 10:24, EST in

There are only three unbeatens in college basketball entering this week: No. 1 Villanova, No. 2 Baylor and No. 5 Gonzaga. The Wildcats have one of their toughest tests of the regular season on Wednesday night as they visit No. 18 Butler in Big East action. The Cats are solid favorites on college basketball odds.

Villanova at Butler Odds, Free Pick & TV Info

When: Wednesday, Jan. 4, 6:30 PM ET
Where: Hinkle Fieldhouse, Indianapolis
TV: Fox Sports 1
Stream: Fox Sports Go
RadioVillanova / Butler
Opening NCAA Basketball Lines: TBA

Why Bet On Villanova?

The Wildcats (14-0) passed a big test on New Year’s Eve with an 80-70 victory at No. 10 Creighton. With Jalen Brunson scoring a career-high 27 points, the defending national champions overcame a slow start that saw them trailing by as many as 10 points in the first half. It was Villanova’s 20th straight win. The 14-0 start is the best in program history as is the overall winning streak.

Kris Jenkins, who had averaged just 10 points in his previous five games, scored 21 points, one shy of his season-high, while Josh Hart overcame a rough first half to finish with 18 points and 10 rebounds. Using just a seven-man rotation, Villanova received eight points and four rebounds from Eric Paschall off the bench in 23 effective minutes. Yet it was Brunson who truly stood out the most. The sophomore guard hit 10 of 14 from the field, including 5 of 7 from three-point range, and both his foul shots.

One key to Saturday’s victory was Villanova’s ability to contain Creighton’s prolific offense by limiting the damage from deep. After Cole Huff sank two 3’s in the first 5:08 of action, VU allowed just four the rest of the way. The Bluejays, who lead the Big East in 3-point accuracy, finished 6-of- 24 (.250). VU leads the Big East in 3-point defense (.278). Butler ranks second in that category (.301).

Brunson was named Big East Player of the Week on Monday. Brunson averaged 20.0 points 5.5 assists and 4.0 rebounds, while guiding the Wildcats to a pair of wins. Brunson posted 13 points, six assists and four rebounds in a 68-65 win over DePaul.

Preseason Big East Player of the Year Hart hopes that his good work of December will carry into a new month. In seven December games he averaged 23.6 points, 7.7 rebounds, and 4.0 assists per outing and was the USBWA National Player of the Week for the week of Dec. 12

Why Bet On Butler?

The Bulldogs (12-2) come off a 78-61 win over Providence. Butler had lost each of its previous three Big East home openers, twice to Providence. Butler was so balanced that eight players scored two or more field goals, and all but Kelan Martin (4-of- 13) made more than half their shots. Martin had 15 points and eight rebounds, becoming the 39th 1,000-point scorer in school history. Seven other Bulldogs scored between six and 11 points.

It was the Bulldogs’ first game since a scary flight Thursday from New York. Their charter plane lost cabin pressure, made a fast descent and landed in Pittsburgh instead of Indianapolis. Coach Chris Holtmann said that had “zero impact” on how the Bulldogs played and that he would have said the same if they had lost.

Martin has led the Bulldogs in scoring in eight of the team’s 14 games this season. He has scored 20 or more points in six of those contests. In his Butler career, the Bulldogs have a 19-5 record in games where Martin is the team’s leading scorer.

This will be the eighth matchup between the two programs with a majority of the games coming since Butler joined the Big East prior to the 2013-14 season. Villanova has won each of the previous seven matchups. This will be Butler’s seventh time facing off with a team ranked No. 1 in the country. The most recent occurrence was a season ago as the Bulldogs lost at Villanova. Butler hosted No. 1 Indiana at Hinkle Fieldhouse during the 1953-54 season, the only time that the Bulldogs hosted the top team. Butler is 1-5 all-time against top-ranked teams, including a win over Indiana in the 2012 Crossroads Classic.

Villanova at Butler Free Pick: Villanova Wildcats

Take Villanova on NCAA Basketball odds.