One of the more interesting 5 vs. 12 games in the NCAA Tournament takes place on Thursday when UTEP faces Butler. The Bulldogs are normally the underdog in this type of matchup but not this time as they are the fifth-seeded team. Butler is ranked 12th in the country and they have won 20 straight games overall. They will face a UTEP team that won the Conference USA regular season title but fell in the title game to Houston.
Butler is a 2.5 point favorite with a total of 130 at SBG Global.
Butler is led by Horizon League Player of the Year, Matt Howard who led the team in scoring and rebounding. The Bulldogs were the best road team in the country this season and road victories usually translate to NCAA Tournament success. “Whoooo, are they good,” UTEP coach Tony Barbee said, “They are a talented team and they can beat you in a lot of ways. I always admired the Butler program growing up, watching them as one of my home town teams. Our guys should have been excited Sunday. That was a well-deserved honor, for us to be picked as an at-large team in the NCAA Tournament. Now, though, the task at hand is Butler.” The Bulldogs are still not getting much respect though as only a 2.5 point favorite. “We haven’t lost since December, it has us really confident, believing that we can go out and play with anybody,” Butler’s Willie Veasley said. “Of course we know that with each game that we have to heighten our focus, that’s going to be a key going into this tournament.”
UTEP is led by junior point guard Randy Culpepper who averages 18 points per game. The Miners also have former Louisville player Derrick Caracter who averaged 13.8 points per game this college basketball betting season. UTEP had won 16 straight before losing the Conference USA title game against Houston.
The Miners are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games as an underdog. The Miners are 2-5 ATS in their last 7 non-conference games. The Bulldogs are 1-7 ATS in their last 8 neutral site games.
The Over is 7-1-1 in the Miners last 9 neutral site games. The Over is 36-15 in the Miners last 51 games as an underdog. The Under is 5-0 in the Bulldogs last 5 overall.