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Butler vs. Marquette predictions and pick for Saturday's college basketball matchup in the Big East. Handicapper LightningLocks analyzes this showdown between the Butler Bulldogs and Marquette Golden Eagles.

Butler vs. Marquette Prediction: Go With the Golden Eagles on the Road

We go to the Big East on Saturday in a battle of one team that has been shockingly better than anyone thought against a team that has been what everyone expected them to be this year, a young team that gets better and better. Of course, we are talking about Shaka Smart doing one of his best coaching jobs at Marquette as they visit the young Butler Bulldogs today at 4:30 eastern on Fox Sports 1 for our viewing pleasure. Both of these teams need a win as Butler has lost three in a row, and Marquette has lost two on the road where they are today.

Butler vs. Marquette Start Time, Where to Watch, and Odds

Date: Saturday, February 12

Game Time: 4:30 pm ET

Where to Watch: FS1

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Butler vs. Marquette Line Movement

Butler vs. Marquette Prediction

Butler is 11-13 on the year, so they are going nowhere, but this team is young, playing hard, and learning for the future. I love what is going on there but let's be honest, the losses get to you but not just losses the last three losses have to get to you as Butler has lost by two at Creighton, a game they had won in the last minute, by three at home against St Johns, and by two at Xavier. These are three good teams, and they gave them all they wanted but lost all three. The game before, they barely beat a bad Georgetown team by three, so this team has played four tight games, but we feel today will not be so tight. Butler stinks on offense; they are 337th in points, 299th in field goal %, 311th in 3-point percentage, 232 in free throw percentage, and finally 333 in rebounds per game. This is horrific and why they only have 11 wins on the year. Even worse, these stats all play into the Marquette style of play which is Defense, as they are top 40 in a bunch of those categories. A team that can't score while playing against a defensive team off a few losses desperate for a win to make the tournament is not a good place to be, especially when you don't have a go-to guy. (7 guys score between 7-10 points a game)

Marquette has lost a few on the road, but nothing to sneeze at as they played Uconn tight and Providence losing by a bucket, and both are ranked, teams. In between, though, Marquette did beat Villanova (swept them, which is very rare) in a huge win, and it was by double digits. Justin Lewis is the key to this game. He has taken his play recently to another level, and we feel that Butler has no one to stop him. Marquette has two games against Butler, Georgetown, and Creighton, all teams under .500, so they win these next four, they are guaranteed a spot in the tournament. We had Marquette when they upset Illinois early in the year, and we have watched this team become a much better team all year, and they have been decent on the road as well. Shaka told his team, you have to rebound better. The shooting will find its way, but to be outrebounded by 21 and 11 in the last two losses, he has focused on getting rebounds. When you are playing a team that's 333 in rebounds, we feel confident Marquette will out rebound them and shoot better today.

Let's look at some numbers. Marquette has won the last three against Butler, and two were by double digits. Marquette had covered 9 in a row until the previous loss by a point, so they are hot ats, including 6-1 ats last 7. On the other hand, Butler is 1-8 off a win ATS and hasn't covered a Saturday game this year. Marquette needs this win against an inferior opponent. Butler is trying, but there is no motivation here unless it's to get to .500 ( we don't see it with their schedule). We will lay the three on the road with the better team. We do see some 3.5 so buy the hook that simple. We trust the Eagles to be golden this afternoon with a big win. You should too.

Butler vs. Marquette Pick

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