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College basketball expert pick for No. 4 UConn vs. Butler on Friday

The Huskies will hit the road to Indianapolis for a Friday night Big East showdown against the Bulldogs.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: NOV 14 Mississippi Valley State at UConn Photo by Williams Paul/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

We have Friday night Big East action to start the weekend as the No. 4 Connecticut Huskies hit the road to Indianapolis to battle the Butler Bulldogs. Tipoff is set for 6:30 p.m. ET and the game will air on FS1.

UConn (12-2, 2-1 Big East) has won two straight since dropping its conference opener a few weeks back, last dominating DePaul in an 85-56 rout on Tuesday. The reigning national champions did exactly what was expected of them against a three-win ballclub, shooting 58.2% from the field compared to just 35.7% by the Blue Demons. Cam Spencer led with 20 points and six rebounds.

Butler (10-4, 1-2 Big East) has dropped two straight since winning its league opener, last getting bested by St. John’s in an 86-70 setback on Tuesday. The Bulldogs did not lead for a single second in Queens, as the Red Storm gradually built on their seven-point halftime lead in the second half. DJ Davis had 25 points in the loss.

UConn has an advantage over Butler in nearly every metric on KenPom and that could mean a long evening for the home team at Hinkle Fieldhouse. The Huskies have the No. 4 offense in adjusted efficiency and that’s backed up by them averaging 83.1 points per game. They have an average scoring margin of +19.5 ppg and that’s aided by their ability to create second-chance opportunities with offensive rebounds and a top 25 defense.

What this game means for UConn

UConn is starting to get into a rhythm as it settles into Big East play and will challenge itself on the road with tonight’s game against Butler and next Wednesday’s matchup at Xavier. Both of those games would count as Quad 1 victories for the Huskies and that would be a big resume boost to stick in their back pocket.

What this game means for Butler

Butler is off to its best start since the 2019-20 campaign, but is at a juncture where it can get lost in the shuffle quickly. The Bulldogs have lost two straight and the losses can begin piling up here with games against Marquette, Seton Hall, and Xavier on the horizon. An upset over UConn tonight would give them a huge shot in the arm while a blowout loss could send them spiraling.

UConn vs. Butler odds from DraftKings Sportsbook

Spread: UConn -5
Total: 144
Moneyline: UConn -218, Butler +180

Pick: UConn -5