Butler Bulldogs vs. Houston Cougars Picks, Predictions, Odds

Nov. 22, 2021
Dave Schwab
VI Betting Expert

As part of this year’s Maui Invitational in Las Vegas, the Big East’s Butler Bears will tangle with the AAC’s No. 15 Houston Cougars this Monday afternoon. Game time from Michelob Ultra Arena is set for 4:30 p.m. ET with ESPN2 carrying the national broadcast.

Score Prediction

Houston 74, Butler 55

Best Bets

Houston -8.5

Butler Bulldogs vs. Houston Cougars Predictions

The Bulldogs got off to a straight-up 3-0 start against teams they were supposed to beat after closing as double-digit favorites in each contest. Moving up in class last Wednesday, they could not keep pace with the Big Ten’s Michigan State Spartans in a 73-52 loss. This Monday’s test should be even tougher.

Houston held its ground in last week’s AP Top 25 as the No. 15-ranked team in the nation with its SU 3-0 start. The biggest win on the board so far came against the ACC’s Virginia Cavaliers. The earlier wins came against Hofstra and Rice as a heavier favorite.

Butler could be a possible first half bet in this game. Yet, I see the Cougars wearing down the Bulldogs over the final 20 minutes of play. Houston is a quality team that should continue to move up the rankings as the season wears on.

Butler strikes me as a middle of the road team in the Big East this season based on early play. Lay the points and bet the Cougars against the spread.

Butler Bulldogs vs. Houston Cougars Betting Odds

More Odds | Futures Odds

Odds Provided by Circa Sports - Subject to Change

  • Butler +292
  • Houston -371
  • Butler +8.5 (-109)
  • Houston -8.5 (-109)
  • Over 123 (-110)
  • Under 123 (-110)

Butler Bulldogs vs. Houston Cougars Betting Resources

  • Matchup: Big East vs. AAC
  • Date: Monday, November 22, 2021
  • Venue: Michelob Ultra Arena
  • Location: Las Vegas, Nevada
  • TV-Time: ESPN2 - 4:30 p.m. ET

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Butler Bulldogs Betting Analysis

Straight Up - SU, Against the Spread - ATS, Over-Under (O/U)

  • SU: 3-1
  • ATS: 1-3
  • O/U: 0-4

Butler is 1-3 ATS through its first four games. It closed as a three-point underdog in the 19-point loss to Michigan State. The Bulldogs also failed to cover in their 70-59 victory against Troy on Nov. 13 as 13-point favorites. The total has stayed UNDER in all four contests.

The Bulldogs’ leading scorer this season has been guard Chuck Harris with an average of 15 points per game. He also leads the team in assists (3.5). Harris has not been the most reliable shooter with a 39.1 field goal percentage. He is shooting 36.4% from three-point range.

Guards’ Jair Bolden and Jayden Taylor are the other two players scoring in double figures for Butler. Bolden has connected on 51.9% of his shots from the floor and 50% of his 22 three-point attempts. Forward Bryce Nze is pulling down a team-high 5.5 rebounds per game.

The Bulldogs are shooting 42.8% from the field and 37.3% from beyond the three-point line. They have averaged 33.8 rebounds through their first four games. While most of these numbers are good enough to win games as double-digit favorites, they are not nearly good enough to keep pace with a team like Houston.

Houston Cougars Betting Analysis

Straight Up - SU, Against the Spread - ATS, Over-Under (O/U)

  • SU: 3-0
  • ATS: 2-1
  • O/U: 1-2

The Cougars have covered the closing spread in two of three games this season. In winning the season opener 83-75 against Hofstra, they came up short as 19-point favorites. The impressive 67-47 rout over Virginia on Nov. 16 easily covered the six-point spread. The total stayed UNDER in Houston’s last two contests after allowing a combined 93 points on the defensive end of the court.

While guard Marcus Sasser scored 19 points against Virginia with guard Kyler Edwards adding 18 more, the big story in that win was Houston’s relentless defensive attack. That could once again be the difference in Monday’s matchup.

Sasser is the Cougars’ leading scorer this season with an average of 23.2 PPG. He is also leading the way in assists with an average of four a game. He is shooting 46.8% from the field while connecting on 48% of his 25 three-point attempts. Edwards is the team’s second-leading scorer with 15.3 PPG.

As a team, Houston is averaging 76.3 points and 40.7 rebounds a game. It is shooting 44.8% from the field and 41.9% from beyond the three-point line. There is some solid team depth in scoring with a total of seven different players averaging at least six points a game.

Houston is coming off consecutive wins and covers against Rice and Virginia in blowout fashion. (AP)

Inside the Stats - Butler Bulldogs

  • Record: 3-1
  • VI Ranking: -
  • PS/G: 65.8 (279th)
  • PA/G: 58 (41st)
  • ORtg: 100.4 (212th)
  • DRtg: 8.5 (92nd)

Inside the Stats - Houston Cougars

  • Record: 3-0
  • VI Ranking: -
  • PS/G: 76.3 (132nd)
  • PA/G: 56 (24th)
  • ORtg: 117.4 (35th)
  • DRtg: 86.2 (73rd)

Key Players to Watch

  • BUT: Chuck Harris - SO (15 ppg, 4 rpg, 3.5 apg)
  • BUT: Jair Bolden - SR (12 ppg)
  • UH: Marcus Sasser - JR (23.3 ppg, 4 apg)
  • UH: Kyler Edwards - SR (15.3 ppg, 6.3 rpg)

Butler Bulldogs vs. Houston Cougars Betting Conclusion

This should be a good test for Houston but one it should pass with relative ease. The Cougars’ defense is in mid-season form and they can also put points on the board when they have to. Houston has gone 17-3 SU over its last 20 games with a 12-8 record ATS. The total has stayed UNDER in five of its last seven games going back to last season.

As mentioned, Butler should be able to keep things somewhat interesting through the first 20 minutes of play. However, I do not see the Bulldogs keeping things closer than the posted spread by the time the final buzzer sounds. Butler is 10-10 SU in its last 20 games with a 9-11 record ATS.

Butler Bulldogs vs. Houston Cougars Betting Trends