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Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 14:05 PM

Saturday's Early Tips



Saturday’s college basketball betting action gets things started with the top-ranked team in the nation looking for redemption from a stunning defeat followed later in the day by another Top-5 power coming off a bad loss and heading into a tough challenge on the road against the fourth-best team on the nation.

Butler at No. 1 Villanova (FOX, 12:00 p.m. ET)

Opening Odds: Villanova -10, Total 155 ½

Betting Matchup

Butler’s recent four-game winning streak both straight-up and against the spread came to a sudden end on Tuesday night in a tough 98-93 overtime loss to Xavier as a 4 ½-point home favorite against the No. 5 team in the nation. The Bulldogs are now 7-5 SU in Big East play with an even 6-6 record ATS. The total went OVER 154 ½-points in that loss after staying UNDER in five of their previous seven games.

Senior forward Kelan Martin led all scorers on Tuesday night with 34 points while going 10-for-19 from the field and 6-for-12 from three-point range. He remains the Bulldogs’ leading scorer this season with 20.3 points per game and he has now exceeded that average in three of his last five starts. Butler has four players averaging at least 10 points a game as part of an 80.4-point scoring average on the year.

The Wildcats should have paid closer attention to St. John’s despite a dismal 0-11 SU record in the Big East when the Red Storm stunned Duke last Saturday in a nonconference matchup. Villanova suffered the same fate on Wednesday in a 79-75 loss to St. John’s as a prohibitive 16-point home favorite. This was just its second SU loss of the season against 22 wins. The Wildcats had covered in five of their previous six games and the total has gone OVER in their last five contests.

That loss drops the Wildcats to second in the Big East standings at 9-2 SU, which is a half-game behind Xavier. Their only other conference loss this season was to Butler on Dec. 30 in a 101-93 setback as 5 ½-point favorites on the road. Junior guard Jalen Brunson scored 31 points in that first meeting and he just posted 28 points in Wednesday’s loss as compared to his team-high scoring average of 19.8 PPG.

Betting Trends

-- The Bulldogs are 8-2 ATS in their last 10 Saturday games and the total has gone OVER in 12 of their last 17 games overall.

-- The Wildcats have gone 5-1 ATS in their last six games with a SU winning record and the total has gone OVER in their last four home games.

-- Butler is 3-1 SU and it has covered ATS in the last four meetings in this Big East tilt as an underdog. The total has gone OVER in three of those four games.

No. 3 Purdue at No. 4 Michigan State (ESPN, 4:00 p.m. ET)

Opening Odds: Michigan State -3, Total 148

Betting Matchup

Purdue captured the attention of basketball fans across the nation with a SU 19-game winning streak, but that impressive run finally came to an end in Wednesday’s 64-63 loss to Ohio State as a 10-point home favorite. Sports bettors have been a bit less enamored with the Boilermakers with their current 0-5 record ATS in their last five games. The total stayed UNDER 146 points in Wednesday’s loss and it has stayed UNDER in nine of their last 11 games behind a defense that is allowing an average of 64.2 PPG.

With a game-high 28 points against the Buckeyes, sophomore guard Carsen Edwards turned in his highest scoring performance this season. He continues to lead Purdue in scoring with 17.0 PPG. He is one of four players averaging at least 12 points a game as part of the Boilermakers’ 83.2-point scoring average. Wednesday was the first time this team failed to score at least 70 points in its last 18 games.

The Spartans are now just one game back in the Big Ten standings at 11-2 SU amid a seven-game winning streak. This is another team that has been tough on bettors lately with a 0-4-1 record ATS in its last five games. The total went OVER 154 points in Tuesday’s 96-93 victory on the road at Iowa as 10-point favorites and it has gone OVER in six of their last nine games. Michigan State is 9-6 ATS at home this season.

The hot hand for the Spartans in Tuesday’s win was sophomore guard Miles Bridges with 25 points and four of five starters ended that game in double figures. Bridges has been the top scorer this season with 17.7 PPG and he is shooting 48.3 percent from the field and 36.9 percent from three-point range. Michigan State is averaging 83.7 PPG and at the other end of the court it is holding opposing teams to 65.3 points.

Betting Trends

-- The Boilermakers have gone 13-3-2 ATS in their last 18 games played on Saturday and the total has stayed UNDER in four of their last five road games.

-- The Spartans are 21-8 ATS in their last 29 home games and the total has gone OVER in five of their last six games at home. -- The road team in this Big Ten tilt has covered in six of the last seven meetings and the total has gone OVER in four of the last five meetings at Michigan State.

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