Free College Basketball Picks: St. John's Red Storm at Villanova Wildcats Odds
by Dave Schwab - 2/21/2014
The St. John’s Red Storm will try and run their current winning streak in the Big East to seven games this Saturday afternoon when they invade the Wells Fargo Center to face the No. 9 Villanova Wildcats. This game is slated to get underway at 1:30 p.m. (ET), and it will be broadcast on FOX Sports 1.
Things looked pretty bleak for St. John’s earlier this season when it dropped its first five conference games straight up, but it quickly turned things around with an 8-1 SU mark in its next nine Big East games, including a 70-65 victory over No. 11 Creighton on Feb. 9 as a three-point home underdog. It is now 8-2 against the spread in its last 10 games, and the total has stayed “under” in three of its last four outings.
Villanova moved to 12-2 SU in conference play with this past Tuesday’s 82-79 overtime victory against Providence, but it failed to cover as 4.5-point road favorite. This followed a 21-point loss to Creighton last Sunday as a 2.5-point road underdog. The Wildcats’ two losses in the Big East have come to the Bluejays by a combined total of 49 points. They are still a healthy 17-7 ATS with an 8-2 record ATS at home.
St. John’s vs. Villanova Betting Storylines
The Red Storm lost the first meeting in this season’s series 74-67 as 4.5-point underdogs at home. They actually had a two-point lead over Villanova at the half in that game, but that quickly faded in the seven-point loss. The main difference between St. Johns then and now is a defense that has not allowed more than 67 points in seven of its last eight games after giving up 70 points or more in its first six conference games. It has also done a much better shooting the ball with an average of 76.2 points during this six-game run as opposed to a season average of 73.4 points per game.
The duo of D’Angelo Harrison and Jakarr and Sampson has done most of the damage with a combined 30.6 PPG, and they are the only two players scoring in double-figures. Phil Greene IV remains the Red Storm’s biggest outside scoring threat with 41.5 shooting percentage from 3-point range, but he is only averaging 7.7 PPG.
Villanova has a solid duo of scorers as well in James Bell and JayVaughn Pinkston. Bell leads the team with 16.1 points, and he is shooting 40.4 percent from beyond the arc. Pinkston is chipping-in another 15.1 points while hitting 52.4 of his shots from the floor. Darrun Hilliard II has also been a key contributor with 13.6 PPG while shooting 46.9 percent from the field and 39.5 from 3-point range.
The Wildcats are ranked 23rd in the nation in scoring with an average of 80.7 points and they are shooting 46.6 percent from the field and 36.2 percent 3-point range. Other than the two blow-out losses to Creighton, they have also done a fairly good job on the other end of the court by holding teams to 68.5 PPG. Villanova has been especially effective at controlling the boards with 37.1 rebounds while allowing an average of just 28.8 rebounds on defense.
St. John’s vs. Villanova Betting Tends and Game Lines
The Red Storm have gone 6-1 ATS in their last seven games following a SU win, and they have covered in seven of their last 10 contests following a victory of 20 points or more. The total has stayed under in 10 of their last 13 games played on the road.
The Wildcats have covered in 29 of their last 35 games following a SU win, and they are 19-7 ATS in their last 26 home games. The total has gone over in 22 of their last 30 games.
Villanova’s win earlier this season has extended its current winning streak over St. John’s to four games. The total in this series has gone “over” in six of the last seven meetings.
Free College Basketball Picks: St. John’s Red Storm at Villanova Wildcats Betting Predictions
With the exception of the two games against the Bluejays, Villanova has pretty much rolled through the Big East this season, but it will be tested in this contest. While I still expect the Wildcats to come away with the SU win on Saturday, the pick in this one is St. John’s covering with the 10.5 points on the road.
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