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Butler Bulldogs vs. Providence Friars Pick-Odds-Prediction 2/23/14

Providence Friars (17-10) at Butler Bulldogs (12-14)

College Basketball: Sunday, February 23, 2014 at 6:00 pm (Hinkle Fieldhouse)

The Line: Butler Bulldogs -2.5 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds

TV: Fox Sports One

The Providence Friars visit the Butler Bulldogs Sunday night at 6PM on Fox Sports net.

The Friars dropped to .500 in conference play at 7-7 this past week with a tough home loss in double OT to Villanova 82-79.  The Friars yielded a 3 point play late in the contest that sealed their defeat.  The Friars are led by Bryce Cotton’s 21.8 points per game -- the streaky shooting guard is more than capable of hanging 30+ on any given night.  The Friars feature and athletic front court led by Tyler Harris, Kadeem Batts and LeDontae Henton.  The Friars rank 74th in the country with 37.2 boards per game.  Their home loss to Villanova marked 4 of 5 in the loss column for Providence.

Butler Bulldogs vs. Providence Friars Pick-Odds-Prediction 2/23/14

Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports

Butler continues to challenge for the final spot in the standings in the conference and things were not much better this week as the Bulldogs were dominated at St. John’s 77-52.  This one was over by halftime and the Bulldogs really struggled from the field -- shooting less than 35% in key columns.  The loss moves Butler to 2-12 in conference play and the Bulldogs now rank 240th or worse in points per game, assists per game and field goal percentage.  The loss marks five straight for the Bulldogs and continues their dive into unfamiliar territory after their model of consistency that they displayed under former coach Brad Stevens.

It is a strong play to bet against Butler at all costs moving forward.  They are simply too unathletic and too thin to compete with teams like Providence.  I expect the road trip to be tough on the Friars but their depth and the play of Cotton to be the difference as Providence handles business with the road cover and win.

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