|Written by Michael|
Bet on NCAABWith their propensity for killing giants of March Madness, the Butler Bulldogs and the Old Dominion Monarchs game on Thursday afternoon will be one to watch. No one really expects Butler to repeat their road to the NCAA Championship game this year. But No. 1 seed Pittsburgh should also be worried about having to face Old Dominion.
No matter which team wins today's matchup, they each have a chance to beat the Panthers in their next game of the tournament. Old Dominion faces up rather well against Pitts' size, and has a history of beating some of the more powerful teams in their conference and the NCAA tourney. Of course, Pittsburgh must first get past No. 16 UNC-Asheville.
But this matchup between No. 8 Butler and No. 9 Old Dominion should be a spectacular one, if each team brings their A-game. Butler is riding a nine-game winning streak right now, including the second year in a row winning the Horizon League Tournament Championship game. Despite having a disappointing early season, the Bulldogs have been playing really well coming into the tourney.
Last year, Old Dominion upset No. 6 Notre Dame to advance in the tournament, although they did not make it nearly as far as Butler. The Monarchs are also coming into this game on a nine-game winning streak, lead by Frank Hassell's 15 points and 10 rebounds per game. Kent Bazemore is also deadly on the team, shooting three-pointers with 40.8% accuracy.
The sportsbook knows that this could be an extremely exciting game, and one that is hard to predict in advance. The NCAA odds reflect this, calling Old Dominion as a -2 point favorite to win. The total is set at 122, one of the lowest totals of any game being played on Thursday afternoon. The teams are excellent at rebounding, so getting second looks with offensive rebounds may be a challenge for both.
While the Monarchs are the best offensive rebounding team in the country, Butler is strong in not allowing such second chances. The Bulldogs are also adept from the three-point line, and Old Dominion has trouble guarding teams who fire a lot of shots from behind the arc.