Marquette vs. St. John’s Odds, Picks | College Basketball Betting Guide (Tuesday, Jan. 3)
Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images. Pictured: Oso Ighodaro (Marquette)
- St. John's is looking to snap its three-game conference losing streak on Tuesday at home against Marquette.
- The Golden Eagles match up perfectly but will this lead to a win and a cover?
- Cooper Van Tatenhove breaks it all down below.
Marquette vs. St. John's Odds
-110o / -110u
|St. John's Odds|
-110o / -110u
Big East play continues on Tuesday night with one of the most interesting matchups of the day between two teams that have equal 11-4 records.
Shaka Smart and Marquette have been playing solid basketball as of late, winning two of their last three games. The Golden Eagles are a double-overtime loss against Providence away from being undefeated in conference play.
The story is much different for a St. John's team that is looking to snap a three-game conference losing streak. The Red Storm lost to Villanova, Xavier and Seton Hall by an average of 14 points per game.
Tuesday's game is crucial for a St. John's team that has matchups with Providence and Connecticut in two of its next three outings.
If the Red Storm are not able to get a win on Tuesday, they may have to wait until a January 10 matchup with Butler to get their season back on track.
Marquette will look to keep pace with Providence and Xavier at the top of the Big East standings on Tuesday night.
The Golden Eagles have built one of the most balanced offensive attacks in the country, ranking eighth in adjusted efficiency (115.1). Much of this offensive success comes as a result of Marquette taking care of the basketball and creating penetration.
Through 15 games, Marquette has turned the ball over on only 15.7% of its possessions, which is the 20th-lowest rate in the country. Additionally, the Golden Eagles have the fourth-highest 2-point percentage (60.3%).
This offensive success will continue against a St. John's team that wants to beat teams via high-scoring contests.
The Red Storm rank fifth nationally in Adjusted Tempo, but have struggled to defend at this high pace, ranking 124th nationally in effective field goal percentage allowed.
For Marquette to continue its winning streak on Tuesday, it will have to prioritize protecting the interior. Offensively, St. John's has been abysmal from beyond the arc and as a result, looks to attack the rim on almost every possession.
The Red Storm score 61.7% of their points from close range, the sixth-highest rate in the country.
In order to protect the rim, Marquette will turn to 6-foot-9 Oso Ighodaro. The junior center has played inspired basketball as of late, recording double-digit points in five of Marquette's last six games.
Even more important will be Ighodaro's play defensively. This is an area he has shined, ranking first on the team in defensive BPR (according to EvanMiya).
Not only will this defensive play neutralize St. John's offense as a whole, but it will make life difficult for the Red Storm's biggest offensive asset, Joel Soriano. So far this season, Soriano is averaging 15.8 points per game, which leads the team.
Marquette's ability to go strength-on-strength on the defensive end is a notable advantage for it.
Things have gotten out of control quickly for Mike Anderson and St. John's. The Red Storm have not recorded a win against a top-100 opponent since they defeated Syracuse on November 22.
Many of St. John's struggles can be tied to its poor outside shooting. The Red Storm rank 284th nationally in 3-point shooting at just 31% per game. This allows their opponents to clog the lane on defense, which completely negates what St. John's does best.
For the Johnnies to get back in the win column, they'll have to develop an outside presence on offense. Mike Anderson will likely turn to Posh Alexander to initiate this.
Alexander's play on offense is crucial, ranking a full 0.66 offensive BPR points better than any of his teammates.
This importance has shown, as Alexander has averaged just 6.4 points per game in St. John's last three games, all losses.
Marquette will not make life easy for Alexander, as he'll be matched up with sophomore Stevie Mitchell, who has continued to improve in his second season with the Golden Eagles
In Marquette's last game against Villanova, Mitchell led the team with 19 points, but was also able to add four steals on the defensive end. Mitchell's 3.5% steal rate will frustrate Alexander, who has struggled as of late.
St. John's will have to have its best performance of the season against a Marquette team that matches up extremely well.
Marquette vs. St. John's Betting Pick
This is the definition of a desperation spot for a St. John's team that has lost its identity on offense.
Unfortunately, Marquette has the pace and talent at key positions to ensure the Red Storm's offensive struggles continue.
This is reflected in Marquette opening as a 2.5-point favorite — even given the importance of this matchup for St. John's. Bettors immediately jumped on this opener, driving the line up to Marquette -3 at the time of writing.
In St. John's most important game of its season, I see the threshold for value on a Marquette team that has simply been in a different class as of late.
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