Xavier vs. Butler Prediction, Odds and Key Players for Big East Tournament First Round

Betting odds, pick and prediction for the Xavier vs. Butler matchup in the Big East Tournament.

Xavier Musketeers guard Dayvion McKnight (20) sets up a play in the second half of the NCAA Big East
Xavier Musketeers guard Dayvion McKnight (20) sets up a play in the second half of the NCAA Big East / Sam Greene/The Enquirer / USA TODAY
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Xavier and Butler have seen its NCAA Tournament hopes dwindle throughout a middling Big East season, but each team will look for one last push at Madison Square Garden, starting on Wednesday.

The Bulldogs beat the Musketeers in the regular season finale a week ago, evening the season series at one game a piece. Who has the edge on a neutral floor as the two settle the season score?

Here's our full betting preview for the Big East first round matchup:

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Xavier vs. Butler Odds, Spread and Total

Butler vs. Xavier Betting Trends

  • Xavier is 2-8 against the spread over hte last 10 games
  • Butler is 5-10 ATS as underdogs this season
  • Xavier has gone OVER in 10 of 17 games as a favorite

Xavier vs. Butler How to Watch

  • Date: Wednesday, March 13
  • Game Time: 4:00 PM EST
  • Venue: Madison Square Garden
  • How to Watch (TV): Fox Sports 1
  • Xavier Record: 15-16
  • Butler Record: 18-13

Butler vs. Xavier Key Players to Watch

Butler

Jahmyl Telfort: Telfort struggled from the perimeter against Xavier, but still put together a game-high 18 points while grabbing six rebounds and dishing out four assists. The Butler point forward has become a Swiss-army knife throughout Big East play.

Xavier

Desmond Claude: Claude had six turnovers at Butler, offsetting his 17 points, but he bounced back to have a strong effort in a near home win against Marquette, scoring 15 points. Can the small forward get to the rim against a compact Butler defense?

Xavier vs. Butler Prediction and Pick

These two played a week ago, making for an interesting set up to this Big East Tournament opener.

In the lead-up to that game, Xavier took money and closed as a two-and-a-half point underdog, indicating these teams are close to equal, but a clear preference for the Musketeers side. In that game, Butler built a double digit lead quickly and forced Xavier into 15 turnovers as the vistors shot 38% on two-point shots.

I believe those two numbers aren't replicable, especially on a neutral floor. The Bulldogs interior defense has been at the national average all season, ranking 184th in two-point field goal percentage allowed and are ninth in Big East turnover rate. I believe the Musketeers rim-running offense can play a cleaner game and take care of business in the first round to keep its faint postseason hopes alive.

Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.

Track Reed's bets here!