Middle Tennessee vs. Butler Pick

Can Middle Tennessee upset Butler? March Madness Predictions 3/18/17

Can No. 12 Middle Tennessee find a way to get another upset when it takes on No. 4 Butler today at 7:10PM ET in the second round of the NCAA Tournament?

According to oddsmakers at BetDSI, Butler is the slight favorite in this game, as the Bulldogs are getting odds of -4 points against Middle Tennessee. The over/under total for the game is listed at 139.5 points. This game will take part in the South Region and air on TBS from the BMO Harris Bradley Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

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Middle Tennessee has now won 11 straight games following its 81-72 win over No. 5 Minnesota on Thursday. The Blue Raiders are now 31-4 on the season overall and 24-10 against the spread. They have covered in 15 of 20 games away from home. MTSU is now averaging 74.4 points per game on offense while allowing 63.6 on defense. Against Minnesota, MTSU had a 34-22 rebounding advantage as well. Four players scored in double figures over the Gophers, with Reggie Upshaw leading the way with 19pointsand nine rebounds. Giddy Potts added 15 points and five assists.

Butler had a 76-64 win over Winthrop on Thursday to advance to the round of 32. The Bulldogs are now 24-8 on the season with a win. The Bulldogs also covered in the victory to improve to 18-12 ATS on the season. Butler is averaging 76.3 points per game on the season while allowing 68.2. Butler had a 42-27 edge on the glass in the win on Thursday and held Winthrop’s bench to just nine points. Avery Woodson led the effort with 18 points and five rebounds while Kelan Martin added 10poitns with eight rebounds off the bench.

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Middle Tennessee is for real and the Blue Raiders won’t be intimidated by playing for the Sweet 16. They have all the confidence in the world while on this win streak, especially with covering in their last five. Their ability to win the battle on the boards will be important today, as Butler isn’t a great rebounding team despite dominating the glass against Winthrop. I think that will be the difference in this one. Middle Tennessee is shooting well and crashing the glass. That should allow the Blue Raiders to cover, if not win.

 

MARCH MADNESS PREDICTION: MIDDLE TENNESSEE +4

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