The Butler Bulldogs take on the Creighton Bluejays in this college basketball matchup. Check out our series on college basketball odds to see our prediction and pick for the Butler vs. Creighton game.
World Cup betting preview on Argentina and Poland, plus the latest OKBET action update
The Creighton Bluejays are well aware of the fact that they need to start winning more games. After beginning the season with a perfect record of 6-0, they have now suffered a shocking losing streak of six games in a row. They dropped from 6-0 to 6-2 after suffering defeats at the hands of Arizona and Texas, two of the best teams in the country, but then a series of events transpired that has taken their season in an undesirable direction.
On December 4, when the Bluejays faced Nebraska in a game at home and were defeated by the Huskers by a score of 10 points, it was obvious that Ryan Kalkbrenner was not in full health or at full strength. There were rumors circulating that Kalkbrenner was suffering from mononucleosis, but official reports would only state that he had a non-COVID illness.
The fact that Kalkbrenner played while impaired had a significant impact on Creighton’s performance overall. Because Kalkbrenner was sick, Creighton was unable to put back missed shots or catch lobs for baskets, which is one aspect of play that they missed out on.
Because Kalkbrenner was unable to perform to his potential, the Jays were at a much greater disadvantage than usual because they did not have his size, length, or rim protection. After that, Kalkbrenner did not play in any of the subsequent contests, which were against BYU, Arizona State, and Marquette.
The Jays were defeated in all three contests. Creighton really shouldn’t have been in a position to lose all three of their games; Arizona State and Marquette are both good teams, and BYU has displayed some talent at various points throughout the season.
The Bluejays were able to win games despite not having their full complement of players during the previous season. They added more players to their roster in order to give themselves more depth, which allowed them to find different solutions by adjusting their lineups. This shouldn’t have been a weakness for the team, but it has been one so far this season.
The news that Kalkbrenner will participate in this game against Butler brings a sigh of relief to the Bluejays. It appears that he is in good health and able to participate in the game at his normal pace. The Blue Jays will need to win a lot of games now that their big man is healthy so that they can make up for the six games they have already lost.
Here are the odds for the college basketball game between Butler and Creighton
College Basketball Odds: Butler-Creighton Odds
- Butler Bulldogs: +8.5 (-118)
- Creighton Bluejays: 8.5-point deficit (-104)
- Over: 142.5 (-105) (-105)
- Under: 142.5 (-115)
Why Butler May Have Been Able to Cover the Spread
This is a significant spread, considering that Kalkbrenner is expected to be rusty despite making his return to the lineup. He has been fighting an illness and, most likely, has needed to rest and recuperate for a few weeks, so he will have taken some time off. It would be unreasonable to anticipate that Kalkbrenner will immediately reach his full potential as a player right away.
It is true that his size and length on defense will be important, but it is an entirely different question as to whether he will be able to shoot well and be crisp in his actions and maneuvers. If Kalkbrenner isn’t playing particularly well, that should give Butler an opportunity to gain a few points in this game.
The lack of points scored by Creighton will be a direct result of Kalkbrenner’s missed shots and passes, either because he did not catch them or because he did not complete them. It’s possible that this will be more than enough for Butler. The point spread of 8.5 indicates that oddsmakers believe Creighton will compete at a very high level. The Blue Jays have not performed in such a manner in quite some time. Making that assumption is not a very good idea.
Reasons Why Creighton Might Be Able to Cover the Spread
Once Kalkbrenner gets back on the court, the Bluejays are going to be unstoppable. The squad is going to be pumped up. It’s likely that this team’s preferred playing style will play a role in the outcome of the match. Creighton is currently 6-2 on the season with its only losses coming to Arizona and Texas, two teams that are very likely to get very high seeds in the NCAA Tournament.
Creighton’s record would be even better with Kalkbrenner playing at his full physical and mental capacity. Importantly, the return of Kalkbrenner will put the supporting cast back into the positions that are most natural for them. Not only Kalkbrenner but also those other players need to step up their game. The performance of the Bluejays as a whole should improve as a result of this, just like a chain reaction.
This will result in a resounding victory for Creighton over Butler by a margin of 15 points.
The Ultimate Prediction and Pick for Butler vs. Creighton
You should avoid playing this game for the obvious reason that the return of Kalkbrenner adds layers of mystery and uncertainty to the picture. This is why you shouldn’t play it. Just keep an eye on Creighton’s performance today and make a mental note of it for the next game.
Final Prediction and Pick for the Butler-Creighton Game: Butler by 8.5 Points