Butler (15-3) at Villanova (14-3)
When: Tuesday, January 21st, 2020
Where: Finneran Pavilion,
Time: 7:00 ET | TV: CBS Sports
Opening Odds: Villanova -3.5/129
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The Villanova Wildcats are chasing the Seton Hall Pirates in the Big East standings, but don’t play them until Feb. 8. The Wildcats will try and keep pace with their first of two meetings with the Butler Bulldogs before that matchup with Seton Hall. After stepping out of conference on Saturday to beat a Connecticut team that will return to the conference next fall, Villanova resumes league action Tuesday night when it hosts Butler (15-3 overall, 3-2 BIG EAST) at Finneran Pavilion. The Wildcats have clamped-down on defense since allowing 69.3 points over their first 10 games. In its last seven contests, though, that number has dropped to 63.2 points per game and held UConn to 2-of-15 shooting from beyond the 3-point arc and 55 points. The Wildcats also created 17 Husky turnovers Saturday. Butler won 15 of its first 16 games this season to climb to No. 5 in last week’s Associated Press and USA Today coaches polls, but dropped games to Seton Hall at home and to DePaul in Chicago last week. Butler leads the conference in scoring defense, surrendering just 57.1 points per game, and field goal percentage defense (.377). Villanova has won each of the past four meetings including a 75-54 home win last March.
Butler’s defense has let the team down during the two-game skid, surrendering over 20 points above their season average in dropping to 3-2 in conference play. The Bulldogs have two players averaging double-figures in seniors Kamar Baldwin (15.1 ppg) and Sean McDermott (11.5 ppg). Both reached double-figures on Saturday, as did reserve forward Jordan Tucker, who scored 13 points in 22 minutes for his third 10-plus point game in a row. Tucker is a 39.8 percent three-point shooter who has drained multiple 3s in each of his last eight games. Butler is 251st in the country in scoring (68.7), but 32nd in field goal percentage (47.1).
Villanova boasts five players in double-figures led by sophomore forward Saddiq Bey (15.1), who was limited to nine points in 37 minutes versus UConn. It was his fourth single-digit effort in the past seven games, but did have 33 versus Georgetown on Jan. 11. Fellow forward Jermaine Samuels led the Wildcats on Saturday with 19 points on 6-of-10 shooting including 4-of-6 from beyond the arc. Samuels has scored 10 or more in eight of his last nine contests. Villanova will be at Providence on Saturday.
If Butler’s defense continues to struggle, they’re in trouble, because they can’t score enough to win a high-scoring game. Villanova is starting to get on a roll and I think they take down the Bulldogs here at home.
Pick: Villanova -4
Bulldogs are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games following a ATS loss.
Bulldogs are 6-2 ATS in their last 8 road games vs. a team with a home winning % of greater than .600.
Bulldogs are 6-2 ATS in their last 8 road games vs. a team with a winning home record.
Bulldogs are 6-2 ATS in their last 8 road games.
Bulldogs are 13-6 ATS in their last 19 games overall.
Bulldogs are 5-11 ATS in their last 16 Tuesday games.
Bulldogs are 3-8 ATS in their last 11 games following a straight up loss.
Wildcats are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games as a home underdog.
Wildcats are 9-3 ATS in their last 12 games as an underdog.
Wildcats are 16-7 ATS in their last 23 home games vs. a team with a winning road record.
Wildcats are 31-15 ATS in their last 46 home games.
Wildcats are 5-12-1 ATS in their last 18 games following a straight up win.
Wildcats are 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games following a ATS loss.
Over is 5-1 in Bulldogs last 6 vs. a team with a winning straight up record.
Over is 4-1 in Bulldogs last 5 games as a road favorite.
Under is 4-1-1 in Bulldogs last 6 Tuesday games.
Over is 3-1-1 in Bulldogs last 5 games following a straight up loss.
Under is 4-0 in Wildcats last 4 games as an underdog.
Under is 6-1 in Wildcats last 7 overall.
Under is 6-1 in Wildcats last 7 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600.
Under is 5-1 in Wildcats last 6 games following a ATS loss.
Under is 5-1 in Wildcats last 6 games following a straight up win.
Over is 5-1 in Wildcats last 6 vs. a team with a winning straight up record.
Under is 4-1 in Wildcats last 5 home games.
Over is 7-2 in Wildcats last 9 Tuesday games.
Over is 9-4 in Wildcats last 13 games as a home underdog.
Under is 9-4 in Wildcats last 13 home games vs. a team with a winning road record.
Home team is 4-1 ATS in the last 5 meetings.