Free College basketball Picks: Xavier Musketeers vs. St. John's Red Storm Odds
by Dave Schwab - 2/24/2014
It is crunch time for both the Xavier Musketeers and the St. John’s Red Storm in this Tuesday night’s Big East matchup at Madison Square Garden as each of these teams continue their push towards the postseason. This matchup is slated to get underway at 7 p.m. (ET), and the game will be broadcast nationally on FOX Sports 1.
It is looking more and more like the Musketeers are going to have to win the Big East Tournament to punch their ticket to the Big Dance with just three straight-up victories in their last eight games. They have been even tougher to bet on lately with a 2-6 record against the spread during this same stretch.
St. John’s is coming off a tough 57-54 loss to Villanova this past Saturday as an 8.5-point road underdog. The loss snapped a seven-game SU winning streak, but after covering against the Wildcats, the Red Storm are a profitable 8-1 ATS in their last nine outings. The total stayed “under” the 142.5-point closing line in that game, and it has now stayed under in four of their last five games.
Xavier vs. St. John’s Betting Storylines
Xavier started off play in the Big East with a solid 70-60 victory over St. John’s on New Year’s Eve as a five-point home favorite with the total staying under the 132-point line. It then posted victories over Butler and Marquette before the wheels started to come off. After losing to Georgetown 74-52 this past Saturday as two-point road underdogs, the Musketeers are now 8-6 SU in conference play. They are averaging 72.8 points a game. However, they have only exceeded this total once in their last eight games.
Semaj Christon put up 18 points in a losing cause against the Hoyas, and he remains Xavier’s leading scorer with 16.5 points a game. He is shooting 50.2 percent from the field and an impressive 46.7 percent from 3-point range. Justin Martin and Matt Stainbrook are also scoring in double-figures, with Stainbrook pulling down a team-high 8.3 rebounds a game. Overall, the Musketeers are shooting 47.6 percent from the field and 37.2 percent from beyond the arc.
Many hoops experts still have St. John’s getting into the 68-team field for this year’s NCAA Tournament despite an 8-7 SU record in conference play, but this bubble team cannot afford any more losses, especially against teams it is expected to beat. It has worked hard to reverse a disastrous 0-5 SU start in the Big East with an 8-2 run since that low point of the season.
The Red Storm’s 54 points against Villanova was their lowest total of the season and nowhere near their average of 72.7 points per game. They shot a dismal 32.2 percent from the field and connected on just 3-of-11 shots from 3-point range. These cold streaks have been an issue all season long with an overall field goal percentage of 44.9 percent. D’Angelo Harrison is St. John’s biggest scoring threat with an average of 17.8 PPG, and Jakarr Sampson leads the team in rebounds with 6.3 while chipping in 12.7 points.
Xavier vs. St. John’s NCAA Betting Odds and Game Trends
The Musketeers are 2-6 ATS in their last eight games following a SU loss and 1-6 ATS in their last seven road games against a team with a SU winning record at home. The total has stayed under in 13 of their last 18 games following a SU loss.
The Red Storm are 7-1 ATS in their last eight games against a team with a SU winning record and 4-0 ATS in their last four home games. The total has gone “over” in four of their last six games following a SU loss.
Xavier’s 10-point victory over St. John’s earlier in the season was the only meeting between these two teams in recent memory.
Free College Basketball Picks: Xavier Musketeers vs. St. John’s Red Storm Betting Predictions
These are two teams that have similar records in conference play, but they are headed in completely opposite directions as the regular season continues to wind down. As mentioned before, the Red Storm cannot afford any more losses. I am banking on them to take care of business by avenging that earlier loss on the road with a win on Tuesday at home that covers the 6.5-point spread.
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