The UTEP Miners and Butler Bulldogs face off this afternoon in what might be the best 12 vs 5 seed match up of this year’s 2010 March Madness tournament. UTEP was given the number 12 seed in the West Region, while the Butler Bulldogs were named as a 5 seed. The winner of this UTEP vs Butler 1st round match up will see the winner of the Vanderbilt vs Murray State game which is on earlier this afternoon. UTEP finished the season 26-6 and won the Conference USA with a 15-1 record, before losing to Houston in the tournament final. Before their tournament loss the UTEP Miners had won 16 straight. Butler went a perfect 18-0 in the weak Horizon Conference this year, and easily won the conference tournament, beating Wright State by 25 points in the finals. This UTEP vs Butler game should be a very tight, with an upset possibly on the radar. The UTEP vs Butler spread, line, odds and my prediction can be found below.
UTEP vs Butler Spread, Line, and Betting Odds:
UTEP +2.5 (-110)
vs Butler -2.5 (-110)
Over 129.5 (-110)
Under 129.5 (-110)
UTEP vs Butler Predictions:
Spread/Line Predictions – UTEP is a solid team that I thought would be seeded a little higher than a 12 seed. UTEP is led by two talented juniors in Randy Culpepper and Derrick Caracter, and have 4 of their 5 starters averaging double digit scoring. Butler had a fairly easy go this year in their Horizon Conference, and may not be prepared for this tough match up in the 1st round. UTEP is 4-0 ATS in their last 4 game as an underdog, while the Butler Bulldogs are 1-7 ATS in their last 8 neutral site games. BET UTEP +2.5.
Over/Under Predictions – The over is 7-1-1 in the UTEP Miners last 9 neutral site games, and 25-7 in their last 32 games as an underdog of 0.5-6.5 points. The over is also 35-15-1 in UTEP’s last 51 non conference games. The over is 10-1 in Butler’s last 12 neutral site games, and 6-1 in their last 7 neutral site games as a favorite. BET THE OVER 129.5.