Thursday Night College Basketball Betting: St. John’s-Marquette, Texas-Kansas
Stephen Spillman-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Kansas Jayhawks forward Dedric Lawson (1), Texas Longhorns forward Jaxson Hayes (10) and guard Kerwin Roach II (12).
You thought we’d only cover today’s daytime hoops? Don’t fret, there’s more to come.
Let’s dive into the Big East and Big 12 tournaments, respectively. No. 7 seed St. John’s squares off against No. 2 Marquette, which it already beat twice in the regular season, before No. 6 Texas takes on No. 3 Kansas. Those squads split their two previous matchups.
Where’s the value in these two games? Let’s break them down.
Betting Odds: St. John’s Red Storm vs. Marquette Golden Eagles
- Spread: St. John’s +4
- Over/Under: 149
- Time: 7 p.m. ET
- TV: Fox Sports 1
>> All odds as of noon ET. Download The Action Network App to get real-time CBB odds and live win probabilities on your bets.
The Golden Eagles (18-12-1 against the spread) have lost four straight games — both outright and ATS. Meanwhile, the Red Storm (13-17-2 ATS) snapped their three-game skid with a victory over DePaul in the opening round of the Big East Tournament, and covered -5.
It’s difficult to cover three consecutive matchups vs. the same program, but Chris Mullin’s bunch possesses the defense needed to pull it off.
Marquette owns the highest 3-point clip (39.8%) and third-highest scoring rate from behind the arc (37.0%), respectively, in Big East play. Much of Steve Wojciechowski’s offense relies on 3-point demon Markus Howard, yet he’s shot a combined 7-of-32 (17.9%) in his two contests vs. St. John’s this season.
It’s credit to Red Storm guard Shamorie Ponds and Justin Simon’s undervalued on-ball tenacity. Expect their second-ranked 3-point defense (34.1%) to give Howard and Co. issues once again, especially in what’s essentially a home game for them at Madison Square Garden.
The Golden Eagles have also generated the fourth-highest turnover rate (19.0%) in their league slate — a product of their loose ball-handling — and St. John’s has amassed the second-highest percentage (19.9%) in that area. That should give Ponds and his teammates an opportunity to the control the pace via their 48th-ranked Adjusted Tempo (70.8 possessions per 40 minutes).
THE PICK: St. John’s +4
Texas Longhorns vs. Kansas Jayhawks
- Spread: Kansas -3
- Over/Under: 137
- Time: 9 p.m. ET
- TV: ESPN2
The Jayhawks (13-17-1 ATS) are stumbling into the Big 12 tourney from a gambling perspective, failing to cover in four of their past five contests (1-3-1 ATS). On the flip side, the Longhorns (15-16 ATS) dropped their final two regular season games ATS.
Nevertheless, Shaka Smart’s crew will get its leading-scorer Kerwin Roach II (15.0 ppg) back after serving a five-game suspension. The 6-foot-4 guard is one of Texas’ primary ball-handlers, plus he contained the speedy Kansas guard Devon Dotson in both of their matchups.
Roach’s elite on-ball defense helped the Longhorns cover in each of those games, as well as their ability to control the boards The 6-foot-11 Jaxson Hayes (5.1 rpg) played a major role in that department, and he also managed to limit Naismith Player of the Year candidate Dedric Lawson to just 13 points (4-of-15 shooting) in their second meeting.
The Jayhawks rely on 18.1% of their scoring to come from the line, tallying the third-highest free-throw rate (32.8%) in conference play. Texas has held its Big 12 opponents to the fourth-lowest rate (29.8%), though, so Bill Self’s unit could get into trouble if it’s unable to push the floor by owning the glass.
At the other end, Kansas is yielding the highest 3-point scoring rate (38.4%) in league play. That won’t bode well vs. the Longhorns’ third-ranked perimeter scoring percentage (36.1%), led by freshman guard Courtney Ramey (39.3%).
THE PICK: Texas +3