The Big East Tournament will begin with a first-round matchup between the Butler Bulldogs and Xavier Musketeers. Butler finished the regular season with a 13-18 record and really struggled away from home. On the other hand, Xavier finished with an 18-12 record and had some big wins in conference play, including beating Marquette and Creighton twice. Xavier also defeated Butler in both regular-season matchups this season.
How will the Big East Tournament begin? Here are our college basketball picks and predictions for the Big East matchup between the Butler Bulldogs and the Xavier Musketeers.
Xavier vs Butler odds
This odds widget represents the best odds available for each betting market from regulated sportsbooks.
Xavier opened as a 6.5 point favorite but has since dropped to -5.5 across the board. However, the total hasn’t moved much since opening at 131.5. Some books are starting to adjust to 131, however.
Use the live odds widget above to track any future line movements right up until tip-off and be sure to check out the full college basketball odds before placing your bets.
Xavier vs Butler predictions
Predictions made on 3/9/2022 at 6:00 p.m. ET.
Click on each prediction to jump to the full analysis.
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Xavier vs Butler game info
• Location: Madison Square Garden, New York, NY
• Date: Wednesday, March-9, 2022
• Tip-off: 4:30 p.m. ET
• TV: FS1
Xavier at Butler betting preview
Xavier: KyKy Tandy G (Out), Elijah Tucker F (Out).
Butler: Jair Bolden G (Questionable), Christian David F (Out).
Find our latest NCAA basketball injury reports.
Betting trend to know
Bulldogs are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 neutral site games as an underdog. Find more NCAA betting trends for Xavier vs. Butler.
Xavier vs Butler picks and predictions
Our side and total predictions are based upon our analysis of the line and total in this game. Our best bet is our favorite pick across all markets.
Despite the Butler Bulldogs finishing the regular season with a win, Butler lost seven of its last nine games in conference play. The Bulldogs shocked UConn in mid-February, but other than that, Butler has been one of the worst teams in the Big East. Butler already lost to Xavier twice this season, but in the second game of the two, Butler only lost 68-66 and showed some fight.
On the year, Butler’s offense has been bad. The Bulldogs have an effective field goal percentage of 47.3% while shooting just 30.2% from three and 48.7% from inside the arc. A lot of categories on the offensive end are currently below-average, and now Butler has to try to score against a pretty legit defense. Xavier is holding opponents to a 48.4% effective field goal percentage and holding teams to just 25.8% offensive rebounds.
Offensively, Xavier is not shooting well from deep, hitting just 32.8% of shots. However, from inside, Xavier has hit 51.2% of shots and should have success against a Butler team that has struggled to defend inside. Butler is giving up 51.9% from inside the arc but has been good defending the three, holding teams to 31.7%.
Still, Butler is only earning 17.7% turnovers and Xavier only turns the ball over 16.8% of the time this season. There’s a good chance Xavier has more shot attempts and a better field goal percentage in this game. On top of that, Xavier is also a more effective offensive rebounding team and figures to get more second chances in this one.
I’ll ride Xavier to start this Big East Tournament with a bang.
Prediction: Xavier -5.5 (-110)
Xavier is a fast offense, using 16.6 seconds per possession this season. Once its unit gets out in front, Butler will be forced to play the Musketeers brand of basketball and forgo the half-court sets on the offensive end that take a while to develop.
It’s never easy scoring against Xavier. The Musketeers have played very well defensively throughout the season, but overall, if Xavier can speed up Butler, good things will happen. Butler has been taking ridiculous shots throughout the year anyway and gets blocked nearly 15 percent of the time. Xavier will score some buckets in transition because of it.
Prediction: Over 131 (-110)
Butler’s offense won’t be able to do enough when it matters the most. In tournament play, effort is never a problem. That’s why stats really do matter. Xavier has, analytically, played better defensively and played better offensively. Xavier limits turnovers on the offensive end and limits fouls on the defensive end. The Musketeers have also shot the ball extremely well inside the paint and have had success defending teams inside the paint. Therefore, I’ll grab Xavier -5.5 as the best bet.
Pick: Xavier -5.5 (-110)
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