Butler vs. Northern Colorado - 11/12/16 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction
Northern Colorado Bears (10-21) at Butler Bulldogs (22-11)
College Basketball: Saturday, November 12, 2016 at 7:30 pm (Hinkle Fieldhouse)
The Line: Butler Bulldogs -25 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds
The Northern Colorado Bears will travel to Hinkle Fieldhouse to take on the Butler Bulldogs this Saturday night in College Basketball action.
The Northern Colorado Bears enter the season trying to improve on a dismal 2015-16 campaign which saw Northern Colorado finish with just a 10-21 overall record and a 9th place finish in the Big Sky Conference. Northern Colorado will have a new coach on the sidelines in former Boise State assistant, Jeff Linder, who will have his work cut out for him as the Bears lost three of their top four scores in Cameron Michael (16.8 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 2.8 apg), Dallas Anglin (13.2 ppg, 2.9 rpg), and Jordan Wilson (13.2 ppg, 2.9 rpg). Linder will have 4 returning starters to work with in Anthony Johnson (15.8 ppg, 4.5 rpg), Jeremy Verhagen (6.3 ppg, 3.7 rpg), Jordan Davis (11.0 ppg, 3.7 rpg), and Tanner Morgan (4.7 ppg, 4.3 rpg). Northern Colorado will hope to improve on the defensive side of the ball as they ranked 327th in College Basketball in scoring defense at 80.1 ppg.
USA TODAY Sports
The Butler Bulldogs will be missing a few familiar faces that helped the Bulldogs advance to the round of 32 in last year’s NCAA Tournament, however, Coach Hollman did bring a strong recruiting class that should have the Bulldogs back in the NCAA Tournament again. Butler will no longer have Roosevelt Jones (13.8 ppg, 6.6 rpg, 4.7 apg) or Kellen Dunham (16.2 ppg, 2.5 rpg) however, do have one of the best players in the Big East returning in Kelan Martin (15.7 ppg, 6.8 rpg). The Bulldogs also will be returning starters Tyler Wideman (7.8 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 1.5 bpg) and Andrew Chrabascz (10.7 ppg, 4.2 rpg). Butler will hope that transfers Kethan Savage (George Washington) and Avery Woodson (Memphis) will help bring some scoring and experience in the backcourt that was lost with the departures of Jones and Dunham. Butler will hope to continue to be get able to get it down on the defensive end as they ranked 70th in scoring defense (71.0 ppg) and 21st in turnover margin (+2.9).
The Bears are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 non-conference games however, just 6-15-1 ATS in their last 22 road games. The Bulldogs are 4-0-1 ATS in their last 5 non-conference games and 5-1-1 ATS in their last 7 home games.
Northern Colorado will be starting new with head coach Jeff Linder and although the Bears did lose some key pieces from last year’s team, they do return some experience and have traditionally been known to be able to score the basketball. Butler is going to be one of the top teams in the Big East this season however, I’m interested to see how the chemistry of this team is early in the season as the Bulldogs had so much of their offense run through both Jones and Dunham. Butler is going to win this one but this is a huge number for the Bulldogs and I think the Bears offense will do enough to cover with the large amount of points.