DePaul vs. St. John’s Odds & Picks: Betting Value on Underdog
Isaiah Vazquez/Getty Images. Pictured: St. John’s players huddle.
DePaul vs. St. John’s Odds
After needing overtime to come away with the win in their last two games the DePaul Blue Demons will now hit the road as they open up Big East play on Wednesday night against the St. John’s Red Storm in Queens.
St. John’s is looking to get back on track after dropping its first game of the season on Sunday, losing to Iowa State 71-60 as a 6.5-point underdog. It was also the third game in a row the Red Storm have failed to cover the spread.
The Red Storm are 29-22 all time against the Blue Demons, as well as 19-12 at home. DePaul has been battling injuries to begin the season, but Javon Johnson and Umoja GIbson have both stepped up in a big way.
Can they do it again on Wednesday night in Queens?
The Blue Demons were down by as much as 17 before coming back to beat Loyola. It marked their biggest comeback win since 2019 and added yet another win to their continued dominance over Chicagoland schools — now at 31-11 since the 2000-01 season.
DePaul has struggled without Caleb Murphy and Nick Ogenda, both of whom have yet to play this season. They’ve also been without Yor Anei since their game against Minnesota.
But what Javan Johnson and Umoja Gibson have done in their absence is nothing short of amazing. Against Loyola, the two combined for 50 points, and over their last five games both have averaged 17.8 points per contest.
#BIGEASThoops Weekly Honors are out!
Player of the Week: @DePaulHoops Javan Johnson, who averaged 27.5 points, 4.5 assists and 4.0 rebounds in a pair of OT wins
— BIG EAST MBB (@BIGEASTMBB) December 5, 2022
However, Johnson, Gibson and the rest of the Blue Demons will be put to the test against a St. John’s defense that has limited opponents to just 68.2 points per game. The DePaul defense, on the other hand, will have its work cut out for it.
St. John’s isn’t a particularly great offensive team; but the Red Storm’s ability to push the pace and rack up shot attempts has them averaging 80.9 points per game, ranked inside the top 25 nationally. The Blue Demons, meanwhile, are 272nd among all Division-I teams when it comes to field goals allowed.
Sure, St. John’s is familiar with DePaul as they’re both members of the Big East. But when it comes to the Red Storm’s scoring leader, David Jones, there might not be anyone more familiar. Jones spent the last two years at DePaul, before transferring to St John’s.
Jones has flourished so far this season for the Red Storm. He leads the team in scoring and is also hitting at 40% from the floor while averaging 6.9 rebounds and 2.2 assist per game.
Jones isn’t the only transfer who’s finding success at St. John’s. Former Illinois standout Andre Curbelo leads the team with 5.2 assist per game and has been a menace on the defensive end, coming up with 2.2 steals per game.
One of St John’s’ biggest advantages against the Blue Demons will come off the glass. The Red Storm are the eighth-best team in the nation averaging 42.3 rebounds per game, and come in at 68th holding opponents to an offensive rebound percentage of just 22.9%.
While they’ll have the upper hand when it comes to forcing turnovers and creating steals, they’ll need to be careful. DePaul is drawing 18.6 fouls per game, and ranks 69th in the nation averaging 20.6 free throws per contest. Not to mention they’re a top-25 team at the charity stripe, hitting 78.8% of attempts.
Fouls have been an issue for St John’s, specifically for three of their key players. Jones, Curbelo and Joel Soriano are all averaging 1.9 or more fouls a game; Soriano leads the group with 2.6.
DePaul vs. St. John’s Betting Pick
The Blue Demons will likely still be without Nick Ongenda, Mo Sall and Yor Anei against the Red Storm. However there is a chance they could have Caleb Murphy back.
During media availability today Coach Stubblefield said Yor Anei will be re-evaluated after tomorrow’s game vs St John’s and Caleb Murphy has returned to basketball activity and participated in practice yesterday but will remain a game time decision.
— The DePaud (@TheDePaud) December 6, 2022
I’m not by any means counting on his return, but it could be huge for the Blue Demons and it’s definitely something worth keeping an eye on. But even if Murphy can’t go for the Blue Demons, I think this line is a bit high on St John’s.
The Red Storm won eight games in a row to start the season, but the tougher competition they faced, the more it became clear this team was far from perfect. Yes, they have yet to lose at home, but they’ve also been just 2-4 ATS in Queens so far this season.
DePaul is a much better team than people have given them credit for. I think both Johnson and Gibson will continue to be leaders and step up when this team needs them most. I also expect the Red Storm’s struggles with fouling to be a major factor in this game.
Back the Blue Demons to at the very least keep it close in their Big East opener.
What is QuickSlip?
QuickSlip is an Action Network feature that allows users to automatically pre-load their bet slip at FanDuel Sportsbook.