Battle of the Dogs: Recent Trends Backing No. 4 UConn vs Butler

UConn vs Butler Line: Huskies Up to -6

Butler faces a big test when defending NCAA champion UConn visits historic Hinkle Fieldhouse on Friday (6:30 p.m. ET). The Huskies have climbed to No. 4 in the AP poll.

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UConn is a 6-point favorite and -250 on the moneyline, with Butler priced +205 to pull off the upset. Meanwhile, the projected total is 144.5.

Will the Huskies stay hot? Read on as we break down both teams and assess the UConn vs Butler line.

Huskies logo UConn vs Butler Bulldogs logo

Location: Hinkle Fieldhouse; Indianapolis
Streaming: Watch Live Sports

UConn vs Butler Betting Trends

The UConn Huskies are 8-6 ATS but have yet to cover in two tries on the road. The Huskies are also 6-7-1 against the Over/Under, having gone Under the total in six of previous seven road games. The Butler Bulldogs are 7-6 ATS, including 4-3 at home. The Bulldogs have gone Over the total in seven of their 13 college basketball games.

That’s important to remember when assessing the UConn vs Butler line.

UConn Chasing History

After dropping its Big East Conference opener, UConn has strung together back-to-back victories over St. John’s and DePaul. At 12-2, UConn has climbed to No. 4 in the AP poll.

Repeat champions in men’s basketball are rare — Florida was the last to do so in 2006-07 — but UConn has a real shot to buck the trend. Opening futures pegged UConn as a 12/1 favorite to defend its title.

While oddsmakers dropped the Huskies to +2000 as the college basketball season drew closer, they’re now back up to +1300. Only three schools currently have better odds: Purdue (+900), Arizona (+1000) and Houston (+1100). They’re also a +190 favorite in the Big East.

UConn is both deep and experienced. Four NCAAB players are averaging double figures in scoring, led by Rutgers transfer Cam Spencer (15.2 PPG) and Tristen Newton (15.0 PPG).

But it’s also shorthanded at the moment, with 7-foot-2 center Donovan Clingan sidelined with a right foot NCAAB injury. Clingan, who’s averaging 13.9 points and 6.3 rebounds, also missed time during the preseason due to a foot ailment.

UConn has built an impressive resume during its climb up the college basketball standings, with a trio of wins over ranked opponents in No. 20 Texas, No. 8 North Carolina and No. 24 Gonzaga.

The Huskies have been favored in nearly every game, with the exception of their 69-65 loss to then-No. 5 Kansas on Dec. 1 (+3.5). They’re 4-0 in neutral-site games but have yet to win in two tries on the road. Bettors should keep that in mind when analyzing the UConn vs Butler line.

Big East Fade

After an encouraging start, Butler’s dropped two straight to fall down the pecking order in the Big East. It’s coming off an 86-70 loss to St. John’s on Tuesday, in which it squandered a 25-point effort by DJ Davis as a 6.5-point underdog. Butler is now 10-4, including 1-2 in conference play.

The Bulldogs are a longshot at best, with +7500 odds to make the Final Four. They’re also +5000 to win the Big East. Given their resume to date, those odds are unlikely to improve anytime soon.

Guard Pierre Brooks is Butler’s top scorer, averaging 16.4 points on 48.9% shooting. Backcourt mate Jahmyl Telfort is averaging 14.4 points to go with 4.6 rebounds and 3.1 assists. The Bulldogs have also gotten solid contributions from St. John’s transfer Posh Alexander (10.7 PPG, 5.1 APG).

Butler is 7-6 ATS, however, it’s failed to cover in five straight games. That doesn’t include a 96-70 victory over Division II-program Saginaw Valley State.

The Bulldogs are 2-3 ATS and 1-4 as an underdog according to NCAAB spreads, with the lone victory coming against Boise State in the ESPN Events Invitational in Orlando, Fla. They’ve also gone Over the total in six of their last nine games.

Handicapping the Game

It’s difficult to win on the road in college basketball. In case anyone needed a reminder, UConn’s here to provide one. Both of the Huskies’ losses came in true road games.

But those struggles won’t go on forever. The Huskies are markedly better than Butler. Although they’ll ultimately need a healthy Clingan to make another deep run in March, they can get by in the meantime.

That’s especially true against the mid-to lower-tiered Big East teams like Butler, which is coming off back-to-back losses over Providence and St. John’s.

Recent trends clearly favor the Huskies, who have covered in seven straight against Butler.

For college basketball picks and parlays, betting analysis and more, visit Point Spreads Sports Magazine.

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