UConn Vs. Butler Odds, Picks, Predictions (12/17/22) NCAAB

Seemingly always battling for the top spot, UConn has now taken the throne as the number one team in the nation per Kenpom. One of the most elite balanced teams on both ends, now battle it out one the road against a high-powered Butler squad. Can UConn keep their undefeated streak alive, or will Butler shock the nation?

UConn Vs. Butler Odds

Oddsmakers favor UConn remaining undefeated, opening them as a -8 favorite. Bettors are in disagreement, taking Butler to as low as +7.5 in some shops. In the midst of their own win streak and being at home will provide a tough challenge for UConn, especially with a starting five that is more than capable of keeping scoring pace with the Huskies.

As for the total, points are expected to be scored in a flash as oddsmakers opened the number at 139. Bettors are in agreement, taking the over up to as high as 140.5 as of writing. This comes as little surprise as UConn is one of the most dominant offenses in basketball while Butler can maintain pace. With a sluggish defense, it will be up to Butler’s offense to keep them within the number.

UConn Vs. Butler Prediction & Pick

The Pick: Butler +8

Speaking of being within the number, that is exactly what I am wagering on as this number is too high. Their home splits are especially eye opening, holding opponents to well below scoring average while taking advantage of the extra possessions for their own scoring output. Against the current best team in the nation, Butler will need all the chances they can get.

Getting off to a hot start will be key as Butler is one of the more thin units in the nation. They only play seven players meaningful minutes with five of them in double digit scoring figures. Guard centric, they generate their early scoring production off perimeter play with one big man down low. The Butler offense currently ranks 60th in Adjusted Offensive Efficiency per Kenpom.

Speaking of offense, we may be in for a perimeter showdown as both teams excel at shooting from deep. UConn converts at 37.6% while Butler hits at 36.6%. As previously mentioned, Butler does a majority of their scoring from guard play which can stretch out the defense. UConn brings a more balanced attack with a mixture of guards to big man production, potentially giving Butler fits down low.

While slightly mismatched down low, Butler can use their shooting prowess to stretch out the defense. By forcing UConn’s forwards to step out towards the perimeter, this will give Butler more clean looks at the rim for high quality opportunities.

As for defending UConn, this is an area for concern as UConn is one of the most efficient offenses in the nation. Butler would be wise to play slightly down towards the paint and dare UConn to beat them from deep. This gives more variance towards success instead of giving them one on one opportunities while out sized.

UConn Vs. Butler Key Matchups

Who will win the battle of the big men when Adama Sanogo and Donovan Clingan battle it out against Manny Bates?

Adam Sanogo and Donovan Clingan vs Manny Bates

Speaking of size, this may be the key metric to watch as Butler’s success would skyrocket towards our favor should they be able to neutralize UConn’s size advantage. With only one true big man, and very thin in depth, UConn will want to throw bodies at the rim and get them in foul trouble early and often.

Manny Bates will be in for a long day, giving up three inches to Donovan Clingan. Not only Clingan, but UConn’s leading scorer Adam Sanogo also stands at 6’9” and will look to drive at Bates.

As mentioned earlier, Butler may be wise to sag down and look to generate Havoc to any dribble drives. Forcing UConn to beat them from deep instead of get handled down low for higher quality shots will run more towards their favor in the long run.

Verdict

With Butler catching the key number of +8 and being dominant at home, I will back them in what will be a thrilling offensive matchup.

Kody is a sports betting writer here at Lineups. He specializes in college sports as well as the NFL and NBA. He won’t quit believing in the Lions Super Bowl chances even when they are eliminated.

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