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Butler, Baylor Bracing for Defensive Battle

Butler vs Baylor Betting Odds

Catchy animal-related alliteration aside, Tuesday’s showdown between the Butler Bulldogs and host Baylor Bears should be an intriguing one for fans and bettors alike. It matches two of the top defensive units in the nation against a pair of offenses that remain works-in-progress, even with the teams combining to lose just one of their first 17 games this season.

Butler Bulldogs vs Baylor Bears

Opening Odds Analysis

Butler enters as a 5-point road dog, the third time it has received points this season; the Bulldogs are 2-0 SU in the previous two games, winning each by an average of 10 points. This is also their fifth straight spread of 5 or fewer points.

Butler News & Notes

Ranking in the top 10 nationally for fewest points allowed (56.9) is a solid achievement for a Butler team that stumbled to the finish in 2018-19, winning just four of its final 13 games. And just as impressive is the Bulldogs’ consistency on the defensive end, having allowed more than 62 points in a game just once this season (a one-point victory over Stanford on November 26).

But while Butler’s defense is sound – and the offense has looked strong in the early going, shooting better than 49 percent from the field – the Bulldogs average the third-fewest possessions per game in all of Division I (64.2). And that could pose a problem when the shots stop falling, as they might against a Baylor side limiting opponents to 61.4 points per outing.

Baylor News & Notes

Let’s talk about that Bears defense, shall we? Baylor has been sensational against some tough competition, allowing just one team to break the 70-point plateau while holding nationally ranked Arizona to just 26.9 percent shooting last time out. It’s a major step forward for a team that surrendered 67.7 points per game last season en route to a mediocre 19-13 showing.

Like Butler, the Bears have some offensive issues to iron out – but they also have two things their Tuesday opponent doesn’t. Sophomore guard Jared Butler is off to a fantastic start, ranked second in the Big 12 Conference in scoring (18.6) while shooting 47.4 percent from three-point range. Baylor also ranks second in the conference in offensive rebounds (13.6).

Betting Pick: UNDER 130.5

Butler will need to keep things rolling at a snail’s pace in this one, and Baylor might be happy to oblige. We don’t see these teams reaching that game total.

Shark Bites
  • Butler is 7-2-1 ATS in its last 10 games.
  • Baylor is 6-1 ATS in its last 7 games vs the Big East.
  • The UNDER is 5-0 in Butler’s last 5 games vs the Big 12 Conference.