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Butler Bulldogs vs. Purdue Boilermakers Pick-Odds-Prediction 12/14/13

Purdue Boilermakers (8-2) at Butler Bulldogs (7-2)

College Basketball: Saturday, December 14, 2013 at 6:00 pm (Bankers Life Fieldhouse)

The Line: Butler Bulldogs -3 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds

TV: Big Ten Network

The 7-2 Butler Bulldogs make the short trip to West Lafayette this weekend for a showdown with the 8-2 Purdue Boilermakers Saturday at 6PM on the Big Ten Network.

Butler enters this contest winners of two straight after stepping out of D-1 competition to absolutely annihilate the Manchester Spartans this past week 100-41.  Butler overwhelmed Manchester from the tip in this one and built a 24 point first half lead before outscoring the much less talented Spartans 52-17 after the break.  It was a balanced attack for Butler who saw their starters all play in or around 20 minutes in this one with Kellen Dunham’s 15 points leading the way.  In all, 14 players saw action for Butler.  The Bulldogs shot it 63% from the field, 85% from the line and forced 15 turnovers that led to many a transition bucket for the Bulldogs.  Through nine contests, the Bulldogs find themselves a 2 point loss and an OT loss away from 9-0.

Butler Bulldogs vs. Purdue Boilermakers Pick-Odds-Prediction 12/14/13

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Purdue enters this in-state battle fresh off three straight wins with their most recent being a 69-64 win over Eastern Michigan this week.  The Boilermakers never trailed in this one but led the Eagles get things close.  Purdue was boosted by the play of its freshman -- Kendall Stephens chipped in 13 points and Terone Johnson added 9.  Purdue was able to force 20 turnovers but struggled on the glass as they were outrebounded and also inefficient from deep, finishing 6-21 from behind the arc.  Bryson Scott’s 16 points led the way for the Boilermakers.  If Purdue wants to keep their early season success going they will need to find a consistent contributor down low.  

Some trends to consider -- Butler is 4-0 against the spread in their last 4 overall and Purdue is 6-1 against the spread in their last 7 contests after an ATS loss.

These two teams are both solid and both project to be contenders in their conferences.  With any rivalry game, it is hard to pinpoint a clear cut winner.  I like the home court advantage for Purdue to be the difference in this one.  Look for Butler to keep it close throughout, but Purdue’s athletic guard play to be the difference as the Boilers escape with the win and the narrow cover at home.

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