The Maui Invitational moves to Las Vegas this season and it looks like the tournament is going to be a good one. The November 22nd Butler vs Houston matchup could be the highlight of the week as the #10 Bulldogs face the #6 Cougars.
Houston is a whopping -9.5 favorite on Monday afternoon, evidence that oddsmakers have a real problem with Butler’s 73-52 loss to Michigan State on Wednesday. UH meanwhile has won their last two games by a combined 53 points, including a 67-47 win over Virginia last Tuesday to easily cover the -5.5 spread. The Cougars passed their first major test of the season vs. the Cavaliers, can they do it a second time?
Butler Didn’t Look Good Last Time Out
A trip to Sin City may be just what the doctor ordered for Butler, who have played their first four games of the season at home (3-1). The Bulldogs shot atrociously on Wednesday against Michigan State at Hinkle Fieldhouse, going 16 of 56 from the floor (29%) and 9 for 30 (30%) from three point range.
The Spartans are obviously a well coached team with Tom Izzo at the helm, but a 21 point win as -3 point favorites has Butler fans on edge. Ty Groce had a good game vs. Michigan State with 15 points and 8 rebounds, but if the Bulldogs are to have any chance in the November 22nd Butler vs Houston matchup they’ll need big production from Chuck Harris – who has a 16, a 23, and a 13 point performance this season.
If anything, the matchup with Michigan State gave Butler a nice test heading into the matchup with Houston. Their first few games of the season were glorified exhibitions, being favored by -24.5 vs. IUPUI (56-47), -22.5 against Central Arkansas (85-53), and -13.5 against Troy (70-59).
Bettors Like Houston Here
75% of the public is on the Cougars here, and Houston has looked good the last two games beating Rice 79-46 (-13.5) and the 20 point win over Virginia as -5.5 favorites.
Houston hit 49% of their shots from the field against the Cavaliers (24-49) and were red hot from beyond the arc vs. UVA hitting 11 of 20 deep balls (55%). The Cougars hit a decent 10 of 30 from beyond the arc in their win over Rice and the team looks to have rebounded from a tough 83-75 OT win over Hofstra in the season opener as -18.5 favorites.
Monday afternoon marks the first time Houston goes on the road just like Butler, even though it’s still a neutral site game in Las Vegas. Houston will lean on Marcus Sasser to try and cover Monday’s -9.5 spread, as he’s upped his scoring average 10 points so far this season dumping in 23.5 per game.
November 22nd Butler vs Houston Pick
This is an early season game involving two teams that are playing on the road for the first time. Both Butler and Houston have both played just one decent opponent this season (Michigan State and Virginia) so there are a lot of question marks in this tilt. When that’s the case and the spread is pushing double digits, the points are the route to take.
Butler 71 – Houston 72
Free Pick: Butler +9.5