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The Friday night Big East slate is loaded, and the headlining game is Butler vs Creighton. The Bulldogs enter at 14-7 and will look to upset the 13th-ranked team in America, the Creighton Bluejays.
Butler and Creighton each enter riding a three-game winning streak. Even though the Bulldogs are hot, winning on the road is never easy, and they must be perfect in this game. Creighton has a few advantages that should play out over the course of 40 minutes.
However, both teams can score and have been efficient from the field over the past week, which should make for an exciting matchup. Most games in the Big East tend to come down to the wire, and we expect another close battle on Friday.
Here, we will break down the entire matchup and give our best bets for Butler vs. Creighton.
Creighton is favored by 9.5 points over Butler on Friday. The Bluejays are the better team, but the home court is adding a few extra points to this spread. It’s hard to not trust the 13th-ranked team in the nation at home, even with a hot Butler team coming to town.
|Over 146.5 (-110)
|Under 146.5 (-110)
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The Big East is one of the best conferences in America, and any team can win on any given night. Creighton and Butler have similar records, but their overall mark doesn’t tell the whole story.
The Bluejays are 7-3 in the conference, and many of these matchups have been competitive. The Bulldogs are 5-5 in the Big East, which is a sign they have struggled against the best teams on their schedule.
Butler has struggled to handle hostile road environments, and they’ll be in this situation again on Friday. Creighton is the 18th team in the KenPom rankings, while Butler is 53rd. The efficiency is much better for the Bluejays, and it all starts with their leading scorer, Baylor Scheierman.
Scheierman, a 6’7” guard, can overpower smaller players in his path to the rim. He averages 17.8 points per game and 8.1 rebounds. His efficiency has fluctuated, but he doesn’t have to make all the plays because of Creighton’s deep roster.
The other star guard on the Bluejays is Trey Alexander. The junior has posted big numbers over the past three games, with two 23 and one 27-point games. This is way up from his season average of 17 points.
Creighton is outsourcing their opponents by 12.5 points per game, and they have a +263 scoring differential. Their biggest issue this season has been the turnover battle, losing in this category by 2.6 per game. Yet, they’re still one of the most efficient teams in America, according to KenPom.
The man that needs to step up to give Butler a chance is Pierre Brooks. Brooks, a 6’6” guard, will be tasked with stopping Scheierman throughout the game. He has two 20-point games in his past three contests and has been great on the road.
Brooks is shooting 46% from the field and averaging 18 points as a visitor. The team’s big man, Jalen Thomas, has been a nice counterpart for Brooks. His scoring numbers have been bad, but he is shooting 55.4% from the field when he gets the ball.
Thomas has grabbed 6.8 rebounds per game and has been solid on the offensive glass. Second-chance opportunities will be critical for both teams throughout the game. Butler has won the turnover battle consistently this season, so if they can do this and win on the glass, they’ll give their team a chance to win.
The Bulldogs will put up a fight, and there is a path for them to cover in this game. They must win the rebounding battle and also create multiple turnovers.
If they can cause confusion for the home team, it will eliminate the crowd and allow them to run their offense. Butler scores more points per game than Creighton by a slim margin, but they’re also weaker in the backcourt.
Creighton has a size advantage, and their bigger players can score. Butler’s bigger players can match the size, but they don’t have the same ability to score. This game may be close for the first 30 minutes, but look for the Bluejays to pull away down the stretch.
Butler vs. Creighton Pick: Creighton -9.5 at FanDuel Sportsbook
When: Friday, Feb. 2 @ 7:00 PM ET
Where: CHI Health Center Omaha
Streaming: Fox Sports
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Tanner Kern has been working in the betting industry since 2020. He currently is a social media content creator at DraftKings and contributes to multiple sites in addition to WSN, including Forbes and VSiN. He is also the cohost of the podcast Ride the Line at WSN.More info on Tanner Kern
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