In the immortal words of Andre 3000, what’s hotter than hot? Ice cold! We have been absolutely killing the game so far in 2020, as we have been winning at an 80% clip all month long and returning an ROI north of 50%. We kept up that hot streak last night when we picked up a win by backing the Indiana Hoosiers as home dogs against the Spartans of Michigan State.
I have bet basically every single home dog so far in Big 10 league play, and I am winning at over a 90% clip. Road teams just haven’t been able to breakthrough in what I think is the best conference in the country.
So, when I saw that the public had once again jumped on the wrong side of the action, and allowed me to back Indiana at home, a team that was 3-0 in home conference games, against Michigan State, a team that was 0-2 ATS away from home in Big 10 play, and get four points, I was jumping for joy.
Hoosiers take it. ⚪️? pic.twitter.com/RZTjgw49lk
— Indiana Basketball (@IndianaMBB) January 24, 2020
And when the Hoosiers jumped out to an 18-4 lead, I knew that I was on the right side. The Spartans made a game out of it, as they always do, and even briefly took the lead in the second half. But at the end of the day, Indiana stayed undefeated at home with the outright underdog win, and we cashed another ticket.
The win was a huge one for the Hoosiers, and they now have signature wins over Michigan State, Ohio State, and Florida State, and are just one game back in the loss column behind Illinois and Michigan State for first place in the Big 10.
For the Spartans, they are going to have to find a way to start winning on the road, and in a hurry. After playing five out of their first seven league games at home, they have seven road games still left on the schedule in conference play. For today’s pick, we will head to the Big East, where the Butler Bulldogs host the Marquette Golden Eagles.
- Marquette Golden Eagles (14-5) at Butler Bulldogs (15-4)
- Hinkle Fieldhouse, Indianapolis
- 6:00 PM PST
- TV: FS1
The Butler Bulldogs host the Marquette Golden Eagles tonight in a clash of Big East contenders. The Bulldogs have managed to lose three straight games after starting out the season 15-1, and any questions about their ability to run through Big East play unscathed, have been quickly answered as they are just 3-3 in league play, and are in sixth place.
— Marquette Basketball (@MarquetteMBB) January 24, 2020
For Marquette, they are heating up in league play, as after losing three out of their first four Big East games, they have now won three straight to move up into a three-way tie for third place in the league. The Golden Eagles know just how hard it is to win on the road in Hinkle Fieldhouse, but they did manage to pick up the season sweep over Butler last season.
Marquette Golden Eagles
We mentioned that Marquette managed to sweep the Bulldogs last year, including picking up a win on the road at Hinkle Fieldhouse, and if you want to know how they did it, I’ve got one name for you, Markus Howard. Howard is the straw that stirs the drink at Marquette, and he leads the nation in scoring.
Last year against Butler, he dropped thirty-two and twenty-eight points respectively, they just had no answer for the sharpshooting point guard. And this year he is even better, as he is scoring a career-high 28.4-points per game.
In his last five games, all against Big East opponents, Howard is scoring thirty-four points a game, including dropping forty-two on Georgetown on the road, in an upset victory. If Butler can’t find a way to slow him down, they are going to see this losing streak stretch out to four straight games.
What happened to Butler? The Bulldogs were 15-1 not long ago and looking like the prohibitive favorites to come out of the Big East as regular season champions, and a potential one seed in the NCAA tournament. Now they are in the bottom half of the Big East standings and trying to figure out just where things went wrong. When you look back on that 15-1 start, they did play some soft games at times.
Of those fifteen wins, seven of them came against teams outside of the top-100, and of those, five came against teams ranked outside of the top-250. But it wasn’t all beating up on bad teams for Butler, as they did pick up quality wins over Minnesota, Missouri, Stanford, Florida, and Purdue in the non-conference. We know they can compete against, and beat, quality competition, which makes this recent skid even harder to understand.
Who Do I Like?
I smell upset tonight at Hinkle Fieldhouse. When Butler lost at home two weeks ago against Seton Hall, the Pirates point guard, Myles Powell, lit them up for twenty-nine points. When they lost against DePaul, the Blue Demons guard, Jalen Coleman-Lands, had his best scoring game of the season with twenty points. Are you sensing a trend here? I am.
While as a unit, the Bulldogs are actually great on perimeter defense, they have been getting abused by talented guards that can shoot it from deep. We know what Howard has done against them in the past, and I expect more of that tonight as well.
But when you look at this entire Marquette team, they have several guys that can fill it up from three as they are top-10 team in the nation in three-point shooting percentage at a staggering 39.6% as a team. I see it raining threes tonight in Indy.
While I do think that Marquette has a very real chance to knock off Butler tonight, I am going to take the safer play and snatch up those six points. I think Howard drops at least thirty, and I see his running mates sniping from the perimeter all evening as well, getting lots of good looks, as Howard should draw a lot of attention from the defense.
I absolutely hate to back road teams in league play, and Hinkle is notoriously hard to win at, but just like in the fight game, styles make fights. And Marquette is built to beat this Butler Bulldog team with their fast-paced, high scoring, and efficient offense. Give me the Marquette Golden Eagles and the six points tonight on the road!