College Basketball Best Bets, Feb. 19: Villanova vs Butler, Wisconsin vs Maryland

Vaughn Dalzell breaks down his best bets for the College Basketball Tuesday slate, including a revenge spot for Villanova hosting Butler.

Butler at Villanova (-6.5): O/U 141.5

Butler was at home for three straight games now go on the road at Villanova who has revenge on the mind.

The Bulldogs beat the Wildcats at Butler, 88-81 in 2OT. Villanova had a win expectancy of 96.9% with five minutes remaining in the second half.

At the start of that previous matchup, Butler had five points after 10 minutes at home and finished with 27 in the first half. Historically, Butler has struggled to score at Villanova, which is the focus of this bet.

Last year Butler lost 62-50 and had 24 points at halftime. In 2022, Butler lost 82-42 and trailed 39-23 at halftime. From 2019-21, Butler recorded 66, 61, and 54 points in the full games (34, 26, 30 points at half).

After three straight home games, I don't expect the Bulldogs to score 30-plus in the first half at Villanova. I played Butler Team Total Under 31.5 at -108 odds on FanDuel and would go down to 30.5 for 1.5 units.

Villanova also owns the No. 2 defensive efficiency in the Big East (19th in nation), along with the slowest tempo (310th overall). Seton Hall and Providence scored 50 and 54 points on a combined 16-of-66 from three (24.2%) and 30 turnovers in the last two at Villanova.

Pick: Butler 1H Team Total Under 31.5 (1.5u)

Maryland at Wisconsin (-7): O/U 130.5

The Badgers started the season 16-4 and are now 17-9 and with three home games remaining, Wisconsin can't afford a loss to a non-tournament team like Maryland.

Maryland is 1-4 in the past five overall and lost three of the previous four road games. The Terps are shooting 29.8% from three in Big Ten road play and turning the ball over 18.7% of the time, both ranking bottom three in the conference.

Since 2020, Maryland has made four trips to Wisconsin and scored 64 or fewer points in all four games. The Terps scored 29, 24, and 25 points in the first half of the past three trips to Madison with Wisconsin leading at the half in all three.

In Wisconsin's last three home games, the Badgers held Ohio State to 54 points, Michigan State to 66 points, and Purdue to 75. Maryland should struggle to reach 60 points here and a slow start in the first half seems evident for the Terps.

Wisconsin plays at the slowest tempo in the Big Ten, which won't give Maryland many offensive possessions. Give me the Terps 1H Team Total Under 28.5 at -110 odds on DraftKings. I'd go down to 26.5 for 1 unit and 27.5 1.5 units.

Pick: Maryland 1H Team Total Under 28.5 (1.5u)

Season Record: 37-27 (57.8%) +7.25 units

Bet the Edge is your source for the day in sports betting. Get all of Jay Croucher and Drew Dinsick’s insight weekdays at 6AM ET right here or wherever you get your podcasts.