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Butler vs Villanova Picks and Odds (Jan. 16)

Jack Magruder

by Jack Magruder in College Basketball

Jan 15, 2022 · 11:17 PM PST

Collin Gillespie
Villanova's Collin Gillespie (2) dribbles past Xavier's Colby Jones (3) during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game, Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2022, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Jeff Dean)
  • No. 14 Villanova is a 15-point favorite over Butler on Sunday
  • Butler is playing the second of three straight Big East road games
  • Read below for analysis and a betting prediction

No. xx Villanova (12-4, 5-1 Big East) is a 15-point home favorite over Butler in a Big East game at noon ET Sunday on FS1. The Wildcats have won and covered their last five games, which includes victories at Seton Hall and Xavier.

Butler (9-6, 2-2) is the last team to beat the Wildcats at their campus home at the Finneran Pavilion, posting a  74-66 victory almost five year ago, on Feb. 22, 2017.

Butler vs Villanova Odds

Team Moneyline Spread Total
Butler Bulldogs +850 +15 (-110) Over 123.5 (-110)
Villanova Wildcats -1500 -15 (-110) Under 123.5 (-110)

Odds from DraftKings on Jan. 15

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Villanova is a 15-point favorite over the Bulldogs, and the total is a relatively low 123.5. The money line -1500 price for Villanova means the Wildcats have a 93.8 implied win probability. Visiting Butler’s +850 money line price to win means the Bulldogs have a 10.5 percent implied win probability.

Sweet Home Villanova

The much-traveled Wildcats will play four of their next five games at home (either on campus at Finneran Pavilion or the Wells Fargo Center) after opening the season with 11 of their first 16 games on the road or at a neutral site against a stiff schedule. Included were road losses at No. 3 UCLA and at No. 1 Baylor and a tournament loss to No. 7 Purdue in Uncasville, Conn.

Guards Collin Gillespie (17.1 points, 3,.3 assists) and Justin Moore (15.9 points, 5.2 rebounds) are the primary weapons on a team that shoots 13 percent better from the field at home and has a plus-three turnover margin overall. Gillespie is a 52.7 percent shooter at home, 45.9 percent on threes. Moore is shooting 447.4 at home, 44.1 from distance.

The Wildcats will be favored in the next four Big East home games — against Marquette, at Georgetown, DePaul and St. John’s — after opening league play with four of six away from home.

Butler vs Villanova HTH History

Villanova is 6-2 straight up and 6-1-1 ATS in the last eight games against Butler. The Bulldogs won the only game played between the two last season, a 73-61 victory in Indianapolis as a 12-point underdog.

The Wildcats are 4-0 straight up and ATS at home in the last four in the series and are 7-1 straight up and 6-2 ATS at home since Butler joined the Big East for the 2013-14 season. Villanova has been favored in all eight games, only three times in single digits.

Five of the last six in the series at Villanova have gone over the total, which was as low as 129 (2020) and as high as 157.5 (2018).

Common Opponents

If the past is prologue, results against common opponents Seton Hall and Xavier indicate Villanova has an edge in this game. The Wildcats have beaten Xavier twice and Seton Hall once in league play, beating each on the road. Butler lost to both at home.

Villanova held on to beat Xavier 64-60 on the road Wednesday after building a 12-point lead in the second half. Gillespie and Moore combined for 40 points. The Wildcats beat Xavier 71-58 at home on Dec. 21 and won at Seton Hall 73-67 on New Year’s Day.

Butler suffered 15-point losses at Seton Hall and Xavier in back-to-back home games Jan. 4 and 7.

Bulldogs Slow It Down

Butler has lost three of its last five games, starting with a non-conference, intra-state 77-48 home loss to Purdue, the Bulldogs’ fewest points of the season.

The Bulldogs’ offense has been problematic, although part of that is due to their pace , which among the slowest in Division. The Bulldogs average 63,3 possessions per game, 348th among the 358 teams in the KenPom rankings. They are shooting 43,0 percent from the field and have a minus-five rebound margin and have been outscored by three points a game in Big East games.

Butler has 10-point scorers in Bryce Golden, Chuck Harris and Jair Bolden and one who averages 9.9, freshman Jayden Taylor. Bolden had 23 points on 15 shots in the 72-58 victory at Georgetown the last time out Thursday, and the return of 6’7 senior Bryce Nze is a plus.

Nze had a season-high 14 points at Georgetown and has 42 points, 23 rebounds and six blocked shots in his four games back after missing six weeks with a left shoulder injury sufferer against Michigan State.

Villanova vs Butler Prediction

After a 7-4 start against a taxing schedule, Villanova is on a typical Jay Wright roll. Not only are the Wildcats a sold home play, but they have owned this series since Butler joined the Big East. The Wildcats have won the last three at home in the series by 19, 15 and 21 points.

The pick: Villanova -15 (110)

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