Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 11:45 AM EST.
4:30 PM EST. The Johnnies are a 15-3 squad taking back some nice points against a team that is just 11-7 overall. Furthermore, St. John’s is third in the Big East while Butler is third last. We also like that the Johnnies are coming off a 15-point win over Creighton, thus, they are starting to gain some traction in the market. Always be aware when the points look too appealing and that applies here, as the Johnnies are worse than their record while the Bulldogs are better than theirs.
The Johnnies went through the non-conference slate undefeated, but they played exactly one opponent ranked in the top 100 on KenPom. That didn’t just over-inflate their stock, it also prepared them poorly for the rigors of Big East play. The old adage is that basketball is all about matchups and the books do not like this one for the underdog. St. John’s his has little size up front, and despite all those easy wins, Chris Mullin is getting little production from his bench. The Bulldogs are a physical team that plays great defense and imposes their will on just about everyone. St. John’s out-of-conference, strength of schedule (SOS) ranks 337th out of 347 schools.
The Bulldogs out-of-conference, strength of schedule ranks 65th out of 347 schools. Overall, Butler’s SOS ranks 24th in the country. It’s also been two weeks to the day since the Bulldogs played a home game and they could easily be on a four-game winning streak instead of 2-2, as both losses were on the road by one lousy point to Seton Hall and to Xavier. Butler is 8-1 at home but perhaps more importantly, none of their seven losses were to weak teams and almost all of them came right down to the wire. This is truly a case of victories and losses influencing the number and in that regard, the 11-7 Bulldogs are a bargain against the 15-3 Johnnies.
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#692 BUTLER -4½ -106 (Risking 2.12 units - To Win: 2.00)