The No. 8 Villanova Wildcats are holding a slim lead atop the Big East standings heading into Sunday’s matchup against the Butler Bulldogs. The Wildcats have won four of their last five games overall and six of seven meetings against the Bulldogs, although they dropped a three-point decision in their last visit to Butler one year ago. Villanova pulled away in the second half for an 85-66 win over the Bulldogs in December.
Tip-off is at noon ET at Hinkle Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. William Hill Sportsbook lists the Wildcats as an 11-point favorite, while the over-under for total points scored is 130 in the latest Villanova vs. Butler odds. Before making any Butler vs. Villanova picks, be sure to see the college basketball predictions and betting advice from SportsLine’s proven model.
The model simulates every Division I college basketball game 10,000 times. Over the past four-plus years, the proprietary computer model has generated an impressive profit of over $2,500 for $100 players on its top-rated college basketball picks against the spread. Anyone who has followed it has seen huge returns.
- Butler vs. Villanova: Villanova -11
- Butler vs. Villanova over-under: 130 points
- Butler vs. Villanova money line: Villanova -700, Butler +475
- VIL: The Wildcats are 49-18 in Big East road games since the 2013-14 season
- BUT: Guards Aaron Thompson (shoulder/thumb) and Bo Hodges (calf) are questionable
Why Villanova can cover
The Wildcats feature five players scoring in double figures, led by the tandem of sophomore forward Jeremiah Robinson-Earl and senior point guard Collin Gillespie, who average 15.4 and 14.4 points, respectively. Both players had miserable shooting performances and were limited to eight points apiece in the lopsided loss at Creighton. Robinson-Earl and Gillespie had no such issues in the first matchup with Butler, scoring 18 points apiece.
Villanova is 93-23 in games played by Gillespie, who is a finalist for the Bob Cousy Award as the top point guard in the nation. Earlier this week, Robinson-Earl, the team’s top rebounder at 7.4 per game, was among five finalists named for the Karl Malone Award that goes to the college’s best power forward. They are the primary reasons the Wildcats rank fifth nationally in adjusted offensive efficiency at 121.2 points per 100 possessions.
Why Butler can cover
With Aaron Thompson (shoulder/thumb) and Bo Hodges (calf) sidelined, the Bulldogs received a boost when senior forward Bryce Nze returned from a two-game injury absence. He supplied 11 points and 13 rebounds in the victory over Seton Hall for his third double-double in six games and seventh outing with at least 10 boards. Thompson scored 14 points in the previous meeting vs. Villanova before he was injured with just over four minutes to play.
Freshman guard Chuck Harris leads four players averaging between 11.6 and 10.4 points for Butler, but he is scoring at a clip of 15.3 points over the last four games. Second-leading scorer Jair Bolden is emerging from a miserable slump, averaging 14 points on 10-of-19 shooting in the past two games. The senior guard had totaled a mere 16 points combined in the previous four games while shooting a dreadful 5-of-28.
How to make Villanova vs. Butler picks
The model is leaning over on the total, projecting both teams to combine for 142 points. It also says one side of the spread has all the value. You can only see the pick at SportsLine.
So who wins Butler vs. Villanova? And which side of the spread has all the value? Visit SportsLine right now to see which side of the spread you need to jump on, all from the computer model that has crushed its college basketball picks.