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NCAA Tournament: Marquette vs. Butler

No. 3 Marquette picked up a slim win in their opening game of the NCAA Tournament, and they'll be back in action on Saturday as they take on No. 6 Butler in the Round of 32 at the Big Dance.

Marquette topped No. 14 Davidson 59-58 on Thursday, in a game in which they were favored by 4 points on the NCAA Tournament betting lines. Butler fared better for their supporters on Thursday, beating No. 11 Bucknell 68-56 as a 3.5-point favorite.

The Bulldogs will try to spoil to the party on Saturday; they are 20-13 ATS against the number this season, while the Golden Eagles are 13-15 ATS. Butler is 18-14 on the totals; Marquette is 15-13.

View Butler vs Marquette Odds and Stats.

Betting Line:
Sportsbooks such as BetOnline had set the Golden Eagles as 1.5-point favorites on the opening line for this contest. It may have moved, check for updates.

Power Rankings / Prediction:
The Golden Eagles - Bulldogs odds would favor the Golden Eagles if the lines were set according to our power ranks. Marquette is rated No. 34 in the current Odds Shark poll, while Butler is at No. 47. Mathematical models based on recent stats and predictive formulas point to a 74-72 win for the Golden Eagles.

How They Match Up:
Rebounding is always a key handicapping consideration and Bulldogs is ranked No. 78 in NCAA hoops at 36.8 per game. Contrast that with Marquette’s No. 150 mark in the paint. When it comes to three-point shooting, Marquette is the No. 333-ranked team in the country at 4.2 per game, while Butler rates No. 128 at 6.5 per game.

Comparing how these foes stack up statistically, Butler owns the country's No. 79-rated mark, allowing 65.9 points per game on the highway. Marquette, on the other hand, rates No. 134 in scoring at home.

Butler was a 68-56 winner in their most recent outing at home against Bucknell. They covered the 3.5-point spread as favorites. Butler earned a 68-56 victory over Bucknell on Thursday, getting 16 points from Rotnei Clarke at Rupp Arena.

Last time out for Marquette, they were a 59-58 winner as they battled Davidson at home. They failed to cover in the match as a 3.5-point favorite. Vander Blue scored 16 points leading the Golden Eagles to a 59-58 victory over Davidson at Rupp Arena on Thursday.

A few Bulldogs at Golden Eagles trends to consider:
Marquette is 5-1 SU in its last 6 games
The total has gone OVER in 4 of Marquette's last 6 games
Marquette is 1-4 ATS in its last 5 games