College Basketball Odds, Picks, Predictions: St. John’s vs. UConn (Wednesday, Jan. 12)
Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images. Pictured: Julian Champagnie (St. John’s)
- UConn hosts Providence following a tough loss on the road against Seton Hall.
- The Huskies are under .500 in the Big East while the Red Storm have just two games under their belt in the league.
- Alex Hinton previews the matchup and offers up his best bet.
St. John’s vs. UConn Odds
|St. John’s Odds|
-110o / -110u
-110o / -110u
After a 89-84 win against DePaul, St. John’s was unable to overcome a poor shooting day in a 83-73 loss at Providence. The Red Storm fell to 9-4 overall and 1-1 in Big East play.
St. John’s is in the middle of an eight-game stretch in which it will play five ranked teams. Next on the docket is a trip to Storrs to battle the Connecticut Huskies.
A few weeks ago, UConn would have been the sixth ranked opponent St. John’s would see during its stretch. However, after a 9-2 start to the year, the Huskies fell out of the AP Top 25 thanks to a 1-2 start in Big East play. Last time out, UConn lost a hard-fought battle at Seton Hall, 90-87, in overtime.
UConn had reeled off 10 out of 11 wins against St. John’s, however, it has lost four out of the last five last meetings, including one last year in Storrs.
St. John’s boasts the highest-scoring offense in the Big East (82.4 points per game) and ranks 19th nationally. St. John’s has three players averaging double figures in Julian Champagnie, Posh Alexander and Dylan Addae-Wusu.
Champagnie — the second leading scorer in the Big East — averages 20.7 points and also leads the team with 7.5 rebounds per game. Champagnie went off for a career-high 34 points and 16 rebounds against DePaul, but shot just 5-for-19 and scored 11 points against Providence.
Alexander ranks sixth in the Big East in scoring (15.8 points per game), third in assists (4.9) and leads the conference in steals (2.4). He is a pest on the defensive end and is one of the reigning co-winners of the Big East Defensive Player of the Year.
Addae-Wusu is averaging 10.3 points and 4.3 assists for the season, but he has upped those numbers to 13.9 points and 5.6 assists in his last seven. He is coming off a 20-point performance against Providence.
Meanwhile, Montez Mathis is just a shade under 10 points himself at 9.7 per game.
While St. John’s can score in bunches, it does not have the most efficient offense. It ranks 70th in adjusted offensive efficiency and 88th in offensive rating.
However, St. John’s ranks fourth in adjusted tempo, so it is going to have a lot of possessions. St. John’s also forces opponents into 17.8 turnovers per game, which is 17th nationally.
However, the Red Storm are not a strong defensive team overall. They rank 108th in adjusted defensive efficiency and 143th in defensive rating.
UConn is second in the Big East in scoring — just behind St. John’s at 79.9 points per game. However, UConn gets it done more efficiently, ranking 26th in adjusted offensive efficiency.
The Huskies have three double-digit scorers, led by R.J. Cole’s 16.5 points per game. He also leads the team in assists at 4.6 per game.
Tyrese Martin is averaging 14.9 points and 6.8 rebounds per game while shooting 41% from deep on about three attempts per game.
Down low, Adama Sanogo is averaging 14.9 points and 6.8 rebounds to go along with 1.8 blocks per game. He is flanked by Isaiah Whaley, who averages 7.3 points, 5.1 rebounds and 2.1 blocks per game. Whaley shared the Big East Defensive Player of the Year with Alexander last season.
Sanogo and Whaley anchor a defense that is second in the nation in blocks at 6.6 per game. The Huskies are 28th in defensive rating and 30th in adjusted defensive efficiency. Opponents are shooting 39.6% from the field against the Huskies’ defense.
UConn also beats up its opponents on the glass and ranks 13th nationally in both offensive rebounds and total rebounds. The Huskies are out-rebounding opponents by 8.2 boards per game.
St. John’s vs. UConn Betting Pick
In the early going, each team will be looking to be establish their pace, as St. John’s ranks fourth in adjusted tempo and UConn ranks 231st. However, in a matchup of the two highest-scoring teams in the Big East, there will be a lot of points put on the board.
St. John’s and UConn combine for over 162 points per game, and the total is at 150. Eight of St. John’s 13 games have gone over 150 points, while another landed exactly at 150 on the nose.
Facing another top-50 defense in Providence, St. John’s last game finished with 156 points despite it shooting 5-of-22 from 3.
UConn is coming off of a pair of 75-point performances in its last two outings and should have success against a below-average St. John’s defense.
I’ll be backing the over in this one.
Pick: Over 150
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