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Butler Indiana Basketball Odds

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The Butler Bulldogs (7-2) have their work cut out for them as they travel to Indianapolis to face the #1 Indiana Hoosiers (9-0) on Saturday in the Crossroads Classic.  The Crossroads Classic is a two game event featuring Indiana and Butler as well as Purdue and Notre Dame.  The Butler vs. Indiana matchup is a nationally televised game on CBS with a 2:00PM EST tipoff.  The odds makers have Indiana listed as a 12.5 point favorite and the total is set at 142.5 points.

Why Butler Covers

The Butler Bulldogs have one statistical advantage over the Indiana Hoosiers.  They do a better job of controlling the ball and forcing turnovers.  This Butler team does not get as much respect as they deserve.  They lost their second game of the season to a now 7-2 Xavier team and, without surprise, lost to Illinois one day after upsetting then ranked #9 North Carolina.  After their let down game to Illinois, Butler has peeled off four straight wins with an average margin of victory of 19.25 points.  They have 5 players shooting over 50% from the field, and they average less than 12 turnovers per game.  If Butler can maintain the same shooting percentage they have had all season then there is no chance Indiana can outpace them by enough points to cover such a large number.

Why Indiana Covers

It is no surprise the Hoosiers are the #1 team in the nation.  They have dominated every opponent they have faced this season, and that is saying something considering their strong strength of schedule.  Their closest game was a 10 point win on the road at Georgetown.  This Hoosier team leads the nation in both points per game at 89.1 and offensive efficiency.  In a side by side comparison the Hoosiers have a big advantage in scoring, shooting, rebounding and a much stronger bench than the Bulldogs.  Four out of five starters for Indiana are averaging double digit scoring so they have a threat at every position.  Having so many scoring options makes this team hard to defend and Butler doesn’t have enough talent defensively at every position.  The Hoosiers only have to shut down one player to win this game in a blowout.  Rotnei Clarke is the leading scorer for Butler and he gets most of his points behind the three point line. That type of scoring threat doesn’t scare an Indiana team that has held opponents to a 35% shooting percentage. Butler ranks 195th in the country on three point shooting and if they try to bring the ball inside to score they will be shut down by a stellar Indiana defense.

My Pick:  Indiana has too much talent, and playing on their home court in a nationally televised game will prove to be too much for the Bulldogs.  Indiana wins big at home with an 82-66 final score.

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