After a grueling road stretch, No. 13 Creighton has returned home and bolstered its resume for a top seed in the NCAA Tournament. The Bluejays beat Xavier (85-78) and DePaul (85-62) at CHI Health Center Omaha and will finish up its three-game home stand against Butler Friday night.
Butler is bouncing back in Big East play as Thad Matta’s club has climbed back into a four-way tie for fifth place in the conference and is an early bubble team to watch. The Bulldogs had lost five of six at one point before rattling off three straight wins, most recently an 88-81 win over Villanova Saturday in a two-overtime thriller.
Here are some props to consider when Butler and Creighton meet for the first time this season.
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Butler vs. Creighton best college basketball prop bets
- Posh Alexander UNDER 2.5 steals
- DJ Davis OVER 13.5 points
- Ryan Kalkbrenner OVER 26.5 points+rebounds
Posh Alexander UNDER 2.5 steals
Alexander has been an absolute pest for Big East guards throughout his career. It's a reason why he was named the Big East Freshman of the Year and the Big East Co-Defensive Player of the Year in his first season at St. John's in 2021.
After three seasons in Queens, Alexander transferred to Butler and currently leads the Big East in steals at 2.4 per game. So why go under his steals total tonight? Creighton's offense is led by elite guard play and are very careful with the ball.
The Bluejays rank No. 39 in KenPom in offensive efficiency and are No. 77 in turnover percentage. Alexander will likely get matched up against Creighton starting point guard Steven Ashworth, who is extremely careful with the ball as the Bluejays' main facilitator. Ashworth, in his first season after transferring from Utah State, has committed two or fewer turnovers in seven of the last eight games. He played turnover-free basketball in three of those contests. Expect him to follow the scouting report and keep Alexander from changing the game with takeaways.
DJ Davis OVER 13.5 points
Take a look at Butler's three-game winning streak to turn around its season and you can point to Davis being a big reason why the Bulldogs now have a fighting chance at their first NCAA Tournament berth since 2018.
This is right at Davis' scoring average for the year (13.6 per game), but he's been on fire of late. Davis is averaging 20.6 points over the last three games and is coming off a 28-point outing in Butler's win over Villanova. Overall, Davis has gone over this number six times in the last nine contests.
Yes, Creighton's defense is one of the top in the nation at No. 12 overall in KenPom. But Davis has been able to score against great Big East defenses, though. He had 28 against Villanova (No. 44 in defense), 22 against UConn (No. 23 in defense), 25 against St. John's (No. 49 in defense) and 22 against Providence (No. 8 in defense).
Davis looks to have shaken off a poor shooting stretch in the middle of January. Take him to go over his point total.
Ryan Kalkbrenner OVER 26.5 points+rebounds
Kalkbrenner has hit this number in two of the last three games and five of the last seven. Of the two times he fell short of this number, he had 16 points and 9 rebounds in a win over Xavier and had a terrible matchup against UConn 7-foot-2 center Donovan Clingan in Creighton's lopsided road loss, finishing with 11 points and 8 rebounds.
Butler's defense is No. 82 overall in defense, largely with its work on the perimeter, ranking No. 53 in defending shots from 3-point range. Butler's defense is just No. 142 defending shots from inside the arc, though, which gives Kalkbrenner a great matchup. Butler also lacks the height, as the Bulldogs typically start four guards and their frontcourt is anchored by 6-foot-10 forward Jalen Thomas. Creighton is No. 13 in the nation and height and Butler is No. 177.
Creighton's offense, of course, goes through the perimeter. The "Let It Fly" Bluejays are No. 5 in 3-point attempt percentage (48.8%), but if Butler continues to excel on the perimeter, it creates a lot of rebound opportunities down low for Kalkbrenner. Take him to have a big night.
Game odds update periodically and are subject to change.