Free College Basketball Picks: Villanova at St. John's Odds
by Dave Schwab - 1/10/2014
The No. 8 Villanova Wildcats will take a trip to Madison Square Garden this Saturday afternoon to square off against the St. John’s Red Storm in an early conference season clash in the Big East. Tip off for this game is slated for 1 p.m. (ET), and it will be broadcast nationally on FOX Sports 1.
The Wildcats hammered Seton Hall this past Wednesday night 83-67 as eight-point road favorites to improve to 14-1 straight up on the year and 3-0 in conference play. They have covered the spread in 10 of 13 games with a posted line, and the total has gone “over” in their last five contests.
The Red Storm are still searching for their first conference win of the season, but they should be well-rested for Saturday with a week off between games. This past Saturday they lost to Georgetown 77-60 as 7.5-point road underdogs after falling to Xavier 70-60 as 4.5-point underdogs on the road in their Big East opener.
Villanova at St. John’s Betting Storylines
Villanova has been the cream of the crop so far in the re-tooled Big East behind an offense that is putting up 81.3 points a game and a defensive effort that is holding opponents to 65.5 points on the other end of the court. The team is shooting 46.2 percent from the field and 35.1 percent from 3-point range, and it has been solid from the free throw line with a shooting percentage of 71.8.
JayVaughn Pinkston has done the most damage with a team-high 16.1 points while converting on 52 percent of his shots from the floor, but both James Bell and Darrun Hilliard II are scoring more than 14 points a game. Bell leads the team in rebounds with 5.8, and Hilliard is hitting 41.2 percent of his shots from beyond the arc. The Wildcats biggest scoring threat from outside has been Josh Hart. He is averaging 9.7 points while shooting 46.2 percent from three-point range.
St. John’s won nine of 12 nonconference matchups this season SU while going 4-6 ATS. The most impressive performance so far was a tight 68-63 loss to former Big East foe No. 2 Syracuse as a six-point home underdog on Dec. 15. The Red Storm is averaging 73.1 points a game while shooting 44.5 percent from the field and 34 percent from 3-point range. They are holding teams to an average of 66.4 points and pulling down 31.7 defensive rebounds (37.2 total rebounds) a game.
D’Angelo Harrison is the team’s leading scorer with 18.5 points a game, but he is hitting just 39.6 percent of his shots from the floor. Jakarr Sampson is chipping in another 12 points and averaging a team-high 6.6 rebounds. These are the only two players scoring in double-figures on a roster that would not be considered very deep. One encouraging sign in the loss to the Hoyas was a combined total of 36 points from the bench.
Villanova at St. John’s College Basketball Odds and Betting Trends
The Wildcats have gone 5-2 ATS in their last seven games in the Big East, and they are 20-6 ATS in their last 26 games following a SU win. The total has gone over in their last five road games against a team with a SU winning record at home.
The Red Storm are 0-4 ATS in their last four games against a team with a SU winning record, and they have failed to cover in four of their last five conference games. The total has stayed “under” in 12 of their last 18 games.
The favorite in this series is 6-1 ATS in the last seven meetings, and the total has gone over in five of the last six games. Villanova has won the last three meetings both SU and ATS.
Free College Basketball Picks: Villanova at St. John’s Betting Predictions
There is always a degree of risk laying points on the road in an early-season conference matchup, but the gap in both talent and current form is just too wide between these two teams for St. Johns to keep this game all that close. Stick with the Wildcats to remain undefeated in the Big East with a road victory that covers the spread.
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