Butler vs. Villanova Prediction, Odds and Key Players for Tuesday, Feb. 20 (Why Butler Can Keep Pace)

Feb 17, 2024; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA;  Butler Bulldogs guard Finley Bizjack (13) high-fives
Feb 17, 2024; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Butler Bulldogs guard Finley Bizjack (13) high-fives / Robert Goddin-USA TODAY Sports

Butler and Villanova meet again after a thrilling double-overtime comeback win for the Bulldogs last month.

However, since then, Butler has hit some tough times, losing three of five games all to elite competition. Can the team bounce back and keep its outside hopes of an NCAA Tournament bid alive against fellow bubble contender Villanova, who has won two straight by double digits?

Here's our betting preview for Tuesday's matchup.

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Butler vs. Villanova Odds, Spread and Total

Villanova vs. Butler Betting Trends

  • Villanova is 14-11 against the spread (ATS) this season
  • Butler is 12-13 ATS this season
  • Butler has gone OVER in 14 of 25 games this season

Butler vs. Villanova How to Watch

  • Date: Tuesday, February 20th
  • Game Time: 6:30 PM EST
  • Venue: The William B. Finneran Pavilion
  • How to Watch (TV): FOX Sports 1
  • Butler Record: 16-10
  • Villanova Record: 14-11

Butler vs. Villanova Key Players to Watch


DJ Davis: Davis poured in 28 points in the first meeting, including five three-pointers, but he's mired in a bit of a slump, scoring only 19 points over the last two games and making only two of 13 shots from beyond the arc.


Eric Dixon: The senior big man is a unique piece of the Big East ecosystem. A floor-stretching big man for the Wildcats, Dixon is taking about two-thirds of his shots from beyond the arc and shooting 36% from beyond the arc. Can he lift the Butler defense away from the rim and create some easy looks at home?

Villanova vs. Butler Prediction and Pick

While Butler has struggled of late, the team has lost to the three best teams in the conference in UConn, Marquette, and Creighton, two of which by single digits. Further, the team has a road win against Creighton on its ledger.

Now, the team is facing a drop in class in Villanova, which is incredibly reliant on its three-point shot. The Wildcats are 14th in three-point rate in the entire country, but Butler ranks at a top 100 team in terms of open three rate, according to ShotQuality, which means that Villanova would have to hit at a high clip on contested shots to get past Butler and cover.

Meanwhile, the Wildcats' most recent three wins have come against Providence, Seton Hall, and Georgetown, three of the worst perimeter offenses in the Big East this season. Butler has plenty of shooting to keep up with Villanova, 111th in the country in three-point percentage and second in conference play in 3P%.

I believe we are getting a good matchup for Butler to cover an inflated spread after Villanova has blitzed some limited offenses in league play. Sure, there Villanova will love to even the score after the team squandered a late lead at Butler, but this spread is too big for me to not take the road underdog.

Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.

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