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Georgetown vs Butler

The Bulldogs have had a bit of a resurgence in the last couple of weeks. Thad Motta's crew had only won 3 games in the whole conference season, but now they've won 2 of the last 3. They beat both Xavier and St. John's by 2 before falling to Villanova. So maybe they're on the upswing?

One of Butler's conference wins earlier in the season was a 80-51 drubbing of Georgetown in DC. So now a team that looks to be on the upswing who beat an opponent by 29 in their own gym is only laying 5.5 at home. They have to be the side, right?

They might be, but I'm going the other way. Yes, Butler has registered a couple of good performances lately, but they still only won each of those games by 2. And while Georgetown has some black eyes on their record, like the loss to Butler, they actually hang in a lot of games. Other than these two teams, the other below-average teams in the Big East are St. John's and DePaul. Georgetown just beat DePaul at home and lost to St. John's by 2 on the road.

The majority of the Big East is just too good for Georgetown. While Butler has looked better recently, I think they're still solidly in that bottom-four group in the conference where all four can be competitive with each other.

Pick: Georgetown +5.5 (-110) BetMGM

Ohio State vs Purdue

This is a big game for Purdue. They've lost two straight, but even more disconcerting than that is the serious crack in their previous aura of invincibility. Okay, maybe invincibility is over the top, but even if their status as the #1 team in the land was questioned, most people would have agreed that they were the top team in the Big 10 and a contender to do damage in the postseason. Now they've lost two straight, to Northwestern and Maryland, and they appear to be reeling.

I could get into a bunch of numbers, and I think those are favorable for Purdue at home, but for this one, I want to focus on the matchup. Purdue has had no answer for athletic teams that are able to pressure them defensively, both full-court and in the half-court. They've struggled to even get the ball to Edey in the past two games because of this pressure.

While Ohio State does have some athletes, they are not the same kind of pressure team as Maryland, especially Maryland at home. They are a bit of a broken team themselves, losing their last four away games by 8 or more. This is a good spot for Purdue to come out and reestablish themselves as the top team in the Big 10.

Pick: Purdue -12.5 (-110) BetRivers

Maryland vs Nebraska

It's Keisei Tominaga time!! If you haven't seen the sharp-shooting guard from Nebraska play, you should check him out. He can be a defensive liability, but he gives the Cornhuskers a legitimate scoring threat. Today he'll face a tough defense in the Maryland Terrapins. It is possible they stimy Tominaga and the rest of the Huskers' offense, but I'm falling back on the good old home/road splits for this one.

Maryland just beat Purdue and Penn State, but both of those games were at home where Maryland has thrived. If you take out Minnesota, they are 0-6 straight up on the road in conference play. The big win over Purdue also makes this a potential letdown spot as they face the "lowly" Cornhuskers.

Meanwhile, Nebraska has been taking some steps forward. They just beat Rutgers on the road and Wisconsin at home before that. They're 3-2 at home since the start of 2023, though their losses to and Northwestern were both blowouts.

I think Nebraska is getting more competitive, Maryland isn't very good on the road, and this is a letdown spot for the Terapins. I'm taking the points for my pick, but I wouldn't be shocked to see Nebraska win this one outright.

Pick: Nebraska +5.5 (-110) BetMGM

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