Butler Bulldogs vs Providence Friars Free Big East Tournament Pick, 3–13–2019
Butler Bulldogs vs Providence Friars
NCAAB Odds: Providence +1
Time: 7:00 PM EST
Date: Wednesday, March 13, 2019
A first-round matchup in the Big East Tournament tips off from Madison Square Garden tonight when the Butler Bulldogs (16–15) take on the Providence Friars (17–14). Providence went 2–0 this season vs Butler and both teams were 7–11 in Big East action.
Butler (12–19 ATS) ended the regular season with a loss to Providence on the road, 83–70 and failed to cover the +2.5 point spread. The ninth-seeded Butler Bulldogs enter the Big East Tournament losers in four out of their last five games which include three road loses during this span. The Bulldogs top scorer, Kamar Baldwin (17.5 ppg, 5.0 rpg) dropped 27 in their OT loss to the Friars in the first meeting. As a team, Butler scores 72.3 ppg and they are allowing an average of 70.2 points. Butler is 1–4 ATS the last 5 meetings vs Providence.
Providence (14–17 ATS) ended the regular season on a winning note but they stumbled down the stretch going 4–6 the final 10 games, which include two wins over Butler and two wins over St. John’s. The Friars averaged 71 ppg of offense this season while holding their opponents to 69 ppg. Providence was led by Junior guard Alpha Diallo (16.1 ppg, 3.1 apg, 8.2 rpg) a 6'7" guard that averaged 1.5 steals per game. Diallo, a New York City native, averaged just 12.5 points during his two contests vs Butler this season but I expect him to show out for the home crowd. Providence was 2–0 ATS this season vs the Bulldogs.
Providence’s offensive rebounding abilities and defense are the keys to this game. The Friars have a clear rebounding advantage (37–32 pg) and they have the ability to play good 3-point defense (33.8%) vs a Butler team that averages 35% from beyond the arc. I think the Friars game plan has worked well this season vs the Bulldogs and a neutral court doesn’t add value to backing Butler. Providence has proven they have the Bulldogs number this season so look for them to cover the number tonight as +1 underdogs.