The Butler Bulldogs (12-3, 2-0 Big East) look to snap the nine-game winning streak of Xavier when they head to Cintas Center to challenge the No. 5 Musketeers (14-1, 2-0 Big East). The games Over/Under (O/U) has been set at 154.5 points with Xavier opening as a 7-point favorite. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. ET on Tuesday, January 2, 2018.
Butler Bulldogs at Xavier Musketeers ATS Preview
In the Bulldogs last outing, they defeated the No. 1 Villanova Wildcats, 101-93. With 19 points, nine rebounds and seven assists, Kamar Baldwin had a good game for Butler. Butler dominated nearly every facet of the game. They had a free throw rate of 0.233 (above their season average of 0.198) and an offensive rebounding percentage of 33.3 (above their season average of 29.9). For those same stats, Villanova was 0.070 and 22.2, respectively.
The Musketeers hope to maintain momentum after topping the DePaul Blue Demons in their last outing, 77-72. Xavier received a boost from J.P. Macura, who led the team in scoring with 19 points on 5-for-11 shooting. Xavier dominated nearly every stat category in the game. They had a turnover percentage of 15.7 (worse than their season average of 15.6) and a free throw rate of 0.297 (below their season average of 0.347). DePaul put up marks of 24.8 and 0.197, respectively, for those same stats.
Xavier should have the edge on the offensive side of the ball. The Musketeers currently rank 97th in effective field goal percentage (0.579), while Butler ranks 215th in effective field goal percentage allowed (0.509).
Both of these teams have a tendency to finish over the O/U total. Games including Butler have gone over 64.3 percent of the time, while 64.3 percent of Xavier games have finished over. The Musketeers come into this game with a substantial advantage in terms of straight up (SU) and against the spread (ATS) records. They are 14-1 SU and 11-4 ATS, while the Bulldogs are 12-3 SU and 8-6 ATS.
Baldwin has been playing at a high level over the last five games for Butler, averaging 16.8 points, 5.2 rebounds and 2.0 steals per game.
This is the first time these teams will battle this year, after the Bulldogs won two out of three contests last season. In the most recent game, Xavier won 62-57. The Musketeers played a nearly flawless game. They had an extraordinary free throw rate of 0.395 and a solid offensive rebounding percentage of 29.6. The Bulldogs recorded marks of 0.224 and 23.3, respectively, for those same stats.
Butler Bulldogs vs. Xavier Musketeers Free Prediction
Predictions: SU Winner – Xavier, ATS Winner – Butler, O/U – Over
- The Bulldogs rank 100th in blocks per game (3.5) while the Musketeers rank 121st in blocks allowed per game (4.1).
- Butler is 27th in the NCAA with 31.2 rebounds allowed per game while Xavier is 29th with 31.3 rebounds allowed per game.
- On the road, Butler is 1-5 ATS with 4 unders and 2 overs.
- At home, Xavier is 7-3 ATS with 5 overs and 4 unders.
- Butler ranks 48th in assists allowed per game (11.5) while Xavier ranks 136th (12.8).
- The Bulldogs rank 50th in steals per game (7.5) while the Musketeers rank 121st (6.2).
- Butler ranks 139th in three pointers attempted per game (22.2) while Xavier ranks 177th in three pointers allowed per game (25.8).
- Xavier is 2-3 ATS with 3 unders and 2 overs in their last five games.
- Over their last five games, Butler is 2-3 ATS with 5 overs.
- The Musketeers average margin of victory in their last five games has been 5.0, down from 15.4 for the season.
- During their last five games, the Bulldogs have scored an average of 90.2 points per game (10.1 above their season average) and allowed an average of 75.8 points per game (6.5 above their season average).