College Basketball Odds & Picks for Creighton vs. St. John’s: How to Bet the Bluejays
Porter Binks/Getty Images. Pictured: Marcus Zegarowski.
Creighton vs. St. John’s Odds
|Creighton Odds||-6 [BET NOW]|
|St. John’s Odds||+6 [BET NOW]|
|Moneyline||-275 / +220 [BET NOW]|
|Over/Under||160 [BET NOW]|
|Time||Thursday, 5 p.m. ET|
After dropping back-to-back games, Creighton will try to end the skid when it takes on St. John’s on Thursday.
Greg McDermott has a loaded team in Omaha once again after sharing the Big East regular-season title last season.
The biggest issue the Bluejays face heading into the season is replacing their best player, Ty-Shon Alexander, who opted to turn pro. So far, they’re struggling to replace his production on both ends of the floor.
It’s been a rocky start for the Red Storm, as they’ve dropped their last two games, including an overtime loss to rival Georgetown.
At the beginning of the season, St. John’s was without one of its best players in Rasheem Dunn, as he was recovering from a concussion. Dunn returned to the lineup against Georgetown and should be fully healthy for Thursday’s tilt.
Creighton is going to miss Alexander a lot this season. He was the heart and soul of the Jays and was their most-used player.
Creighton finished the season as the third-ranked team in offensive efficiency last season, per KenPom. Additionally, it finished sixth in effective field goal percentage and 3-point percentage. However, over half of its shots came from Alexander.
Creighton does return point guard Marcus Zegarowski, and he will be a candidate for Big East Player of the Year. He was by far the Bluejays’ best shooter from downtown, owning the second-highest percentage in the Big East at 45.6%. He also ranked third in the conference in assist rate, so the Jays are in good hands with Zegarowski running the point.
The biggest hurdle Creighton is going to face this season will be on defense. On Monday, the Jays got torched at home by Marquette for 89 points and 1.34 points per possession. Alexander was their best overall defender, so the Bluejays are going to struggle to guard their opponents’ backcourts.
McDermott did bring in some talent via the transfer portal, so it will be interesting to see whether or not Creighton will be able to improve from ranking 78th in defensive efficiency last season.
St. John’s Red Storm
The key for the Red Storm this season is this: Can their defense hold enough to allow their offense to flourish? Through their first eight games of the season, that has not been the case.
St. John’s is ranked in the bottom 100 of college basketball in every shooting category. Perhaps the most troubling stat is that it’s allowing an effective field goal percentage of 56%.
Coming into the season, St. John’s was forced to replace its unquestioned leader from last season, LJ Figueroa. Figueroa was the Red Storm’s most used player and led the team in scoring with 14.5 points per game. Someone is going to have to step up in the backcourt to replace his production.
The problem for St. John’s on offense, which has carried over from last season, is its struggles from the floor. In 2019, it shot an abysmal 44.9% from inside the arc and 32.1% from behind it.
The Red Storm slightly improved those numbers through the first eight games of 2020, but it’s hard to imagine they’ll find a way to keep up with an offense like Creighton’s.
Betting Analysis & Pick
Despite its struggles in its last two games, I think this is a perfect bounce-back spot for Creighton. Both of these teams play a really fast tempo, so that should play right into Creighton’s hands.
The Bluejays are far superior on offense and should be able to dominate this game since they shoot the ball at a far better percentage than the Red Storm.
I have Creighton projected as -7.02 favorites, so at the current line, I do not think there’s a lot of value on the Bluejays. I would play Creighton if the line drops down to -5 or better.
Pick: Creighton -5 or better.