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Butler Bulldogs vs. DePaul Blue Demons
Where and when: Wintrust Arena, Chicago, Illinois, Saturday, 1 pm EST
The 5th ranked team in the country in the Butler Bulldogs travel to Wintrust Arena in Chicago, Illinois, to face fellow Big East foe DePaul Blue Demons on Saturday afternoon at 1 pm EST. Despite dropping their last contest at home to the Seton Hall Pirates, the Bulldogs enter this matchup winners of 8 of their last 10 games, overall. The Blue Demons, on the other hand, are on a losing skid in dropping 4 straight as they have also not fared well in head-to-head matchups versus the Bulldogs in dropping 10-straight. Butler has also covered in the last 4 matchups with DePaul, including covering the number in 3 of their last 5 games at Wintrust Arena.
Bulldogs drop one to the red-hot PiratesTo Seton Hall’s credit, they entered their matchup with the Bulldogs winners of 6-straight. And while neither team shot well during the contest (42% for Butler, 41% for Pirates), the Bulldogs had no answer for the Pirates’ Myles Powell who led the team with 29 points in the win. Of course, the Bulldogs certainly made it tough for the guard as he ended at 9-23 from the floor while going 5-14 from long-range.
Look for Butler, who is ranked in the top 11 teams in the nation in points allowed per game (56), opponent field goal % (37%) along with opponent 3-point % (26%) to make it even tougher versus a Blue Demons offense that is averaging 75 points per game on 46% shooting on the year, yet is putting up less than 70 points on average during their current losing streak.
Offensively, despite scoring 69 points per game, the Bulldogs are very efficient in connecting on 47% of their shots in addition to shooting 37% from the arc. Senior guard Kamar Baldwin has been a solid part of the offense in shooting 36% from long-range on the year, despite going just 1-5 versus the Pirates including committing 4 turnovers.
Expect for the senior to bounce back versus the Blue Demons, who have also been tough on the defensive end in their own right in allowing less than 70 points per game on an outstanding 38% shooting (32% from 3-point range). Sophomore forward Bryce Nze (10 ppg, 7 rebs) will also be relied upon to add a spark on this end for a Butler team that is averaging 33 boards per outing in 2019.
Important to note, however, that the Bulldogs have dropped 79 points or more in their last 5 meetings versus DePaul with Baldwin going for 25 points in their most recent in a 13-point victory.
DePaul seeks a huge home win over XavierDePaul is desperately in need of a win at this point in their season. As stated, they are attempting to avoid their 5th straight loss after falling on the road to the Villanova Wildcats in their last time out by 4 points in overtime. However, with 12 wins on the year already, the Blue Demons have shown flashes of a much better team, particularly on the offensive end. Leading scorer and Kansas transfer in guard Charlie Moore (17 ppg, 7 ass) scored 29 points versus the Wildcats on a 10-17 night (5-7 from long-range); However, the guard is shooting just 40% on the year along with connecting on less than 30% of his 3-pointers.
Junior forward Paul Reed (16 ppg, 11 rebs, 3 blks) has been a presence on both ends of the floor, however, and is shooting over 53% from the field. Collectively, however, the two players had a total of 8 turnovers versus the Wildcats in their loss as the Blue Demons ended with 17 total.
Great to be back at @WintrustArena for our next 3️⃣ games.— DePaul Basketball (@DePaulHoops) January 17, 2020
We get it started tomorrow with No. 5️⃣ Butler.
📺 FOX Sports Networks/WCIU The U
🔵👿 | #PlayingPossessed pic.twitter.com/gKOPTafLQ9
They can certainly expect some pressure from the Butler defense after the team gave up nearly 23 points more than their average to a solid Seton Hall team in their last time out. Important to note that the Blue Demons have been beaten by an average of 15 points at home to the Bulldogs in their last 2 meetings at Wintrust Arena.
Defensively, expect the Blue Demons to keep this game close thanks to their ability to hunker down in this area of the court. For the season, their unit has allowed just 67 points per game on 39% shooting while they will battle an offense for the Bulldogs that possesses one of the best guard scorers in the Big East in Baldwin. Butler, however, has dominated the Blue Demons at home in their last 2 meetings, however, in posting an average of 83 points per game during these contests.
- Blue Demons are 2-4 ATS in last 6 games
- Blue Demons are 2-3 ATS in last 5 home games
- Blue Demons are 1-4 ATS in last 5 meetings versus Bulldogs
- Bulldogs are 4-0 ATS in last 4 meetings versus Blue Demons
- Bulldogs are 4-2 ATS in last 6 games
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
The Blue Demons have not had any answers as to how to stop the Bulldogs on either side of the floor in recent meetings. Also, Butler will have a sour taste in their mouths due to their loss versus the Pirates in their last outing. In all, expect this to be an exciting game, yet one where the Bulldogs will grind out a convincing win, in the end, thanks to their ability to hunker down and play sound defense while converting their stellar defensive play into quality offensive opportunities via transition. Again, the Bulldogs have much experience winning in Chicago versus DePaul in picking up wins in their last 5 matchups.
Prediction: Butler Bulldogs
Full-Game Total Pick
I will back the under for this matchup as both teams have defenses that can really make it difficult for opposing offenses to get going. And with each of these offenses having some issues getting kick-started at times in 2019, look for these squads to attempt to establish themselves early and often during this matchup. Important to note that the under has been the play in 3 of the last 5 for the Bulldogs along with being the result in 2 of the last 3 for the Blue Demons.