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Butler vs. Gonzaga

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All the major college basketball conferences feature some quality matchups this Saturday, but we want to turn our attention in this betting guide to the featured matchups in the Mid-Majors. The following is a brief betting guide for the top three showdowns including our featured game of the day between No. 8 Gonzaga and No. 13 Butler.

Saturday’s Showdown of the Day

No. 8 Gonzaga Bulldogs vs. No. 13 Butler Bulldogs (ESPN, 9:00 p.m.)

Gonzaga keeps rolling on with eight straight victories including a 71-49 romp over Portland on Thursday night as a 15 ½-point road favorite. The school is now 17-1 straight up on the year and after covering against the spread in three of its last five games it is 9-6-1 ATS. The Bulldogs are a perfect 5-0 SU on the road and 3-1-1 ATS. The total stayed UNDER the 134 1/2-point line in Thursday’s win but it had gone OVER in four of their previous five games.

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The Bulldogs come into this West Coast Conference-Atlantic 10 showdown as the eighth-highest scoring team in the nation with an average of 80.3 points per game. They are shooting 51.4 percent from the field which is ranked third overall. Kelly Olynyk has led the way with 18.3 points and 6.8 rebounds a game but Elias Harris has also been a force with 14.6 points and 6.9 rebounds. Kevin Pangos is the third player scoring in double figures with 12.4 points and he leads the team in assists with 3.6 a game. Gonzaga has also been solid on defense; holding its opponents to an average of 63.5 points a game.

Butler is coming off a 62-47 rout of Richmond this past Wednesday as a nine-point favorite at home. This extended its current winning streak to 12 games SU and it has a 7-3 record ATS during this run in the 10 games with a posted line. Overall, the Bulldogs are now 15-2 SU and a profitable 10-5 ATS. They have gone a perfect 8-0 SU at home this season, but are just 3-3 ATS. The total has gone OVER in five of their last seven games.

These Bulldogs are averaging 72.5 PPG behind an extremely balanced offense that features five different players scoring in double figures. Rotnei Clarke leads this group with 16.3 points a game while shooting 41.7 percent from the floor and an impressive 44.4 percent from three-point range. The team as a whole is shooting 46 percent from the floor but just 35 percent from beyond the arc. Butler matches up very well with Gonzaga on defense; holding its opponents to 62.7 points a game.

Gonzaga is 3-1-1 ATS in its last five games following a SU win and 3-0-1 ATS in its last four road games against a team with a winning record at home. The total has stayed UNDER in five of their last seven games against the Atlantic 10.

Butler is 5-1 ATS in its last six games against a team with a winning record and 11-4-1 ATS in its last 16 games at home against a team with a winning road record. The total has gone OVER in seven of its last eight non-conference games.

These two met last season with Gonzaga cruising to a 71-55 victory as a 13-point home favorite. The only previous meeting was in 2006 with Butler coming out on top 79-71 as a five-point road underdog.

The Best of the Rest

No. 12 Creighton Bluejays vs. Wichita State Shockers (ESPN2, 4:00 p.m.)

The Bluejays have risen to No. 12 in the nation on the shoulders of one of the best players in college basketball. Doug McDermott is the second-highest scoring player in the country with an average of 24 points a game while shooting an amazing 56.8 percent from the field and 50.7 percent from three-point range. Creighton has won its last 11 games to improve to 17-1 SU overall. It is a healthy 12-4 ATS this season and the total has gone OVER in four of its last six games.

Wichita State dropped from the top 25 after losing to Evansville 71-67 as a 3 ½-point road favorite on Jan. 13. It is still an impressive 16-2 SU overall and a perfect 9-0 SU at home. The Shockers have gone 9-6 ATS with the total going OVER in four of their last five games. Cleanthony Early leads the team in scoring with 15.5 points a game with Carl Hall chipping-in another 12.8 points and team-high 7.8 rebounds. Wichita State has won four of the last six meetings SU in this Missouri Valley Conference showdown with a slight 3-2-1 edge ATS.

No. 15 San Diego State Aztecs vs. Wyoming Cowboys (7:30 p.m.)

The Aztecs will look to bounce-back from Wednesday’s 82-75 loss to UNLV as 3 ½-point home favorites. This dropped them to 2-1 in Mountain West play and 14-3 SU overall. They are now 7-5 ATS with the total going OVER in their last three games. Jamaal Franklin leads the team across the board with 18.4 points, 10.1 rebounds and 3.3 assists a game. San Diego State is averaging 72.3 points a game and shooting 44.5 percent from the field.

Wyoming is off to a 1-2 start in conference play with losses to Boise State and Fresno State wrapped around an 11-point win over Nevada as a 1 ½-point road underdog. Overall, the Cowboys are 14-2 SU with a 9-1 SU record at home. They have gone a profitable 10-3 ATS and the total has stayed UNDER in their last four games. Wyoming has four different players scoring in double figures but it is averaging just 65.4 points a game. It is shooting 45 percent from the field and 34.1 percent from three-point range. The Cowboys have lost the last five meetings both SU and ATS with the total going OVER in four of those games.

  
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