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St. John’s vs. Arizona State Betting Guide: Athleticism On Display in NCAA Tournament Play-In Game

St. John’s vs. Arizona State Betting Guide: Athleticism On Display in NCAA Tournament Play-In Game article feature image

USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Shamorie Ponds and Remy Martin

St. John’s vs. Arizona State 2019 NCAA Tournament Betting Odds

  • Odds: Arizona State -2
  • Over/Under: 153
  • Time: Wednesday, 9:10 p.m. ET
  • TV: truTV
  • Location: Dayton, Ohio

>> All odds as of 7:30 a.m. ET. Download The Action Network App to get real-time odds and live win probabilities on your bets.

St. John’s (11-14-2 against the spread) was the last team to make the NCAA Tournament field, earning the last at-large bid. But the Red Storm struggled in March, losing three consecutive regular season games to end the season. St. John’s is just 5-9-1 ATS on the road and failed to cover four of its last five regular season games.

Arizona State (16-13-1 ATS) entered the Pac-12 Tournament winning five of its last six games, and won a tournament game over UCLA before falling to eventual champion Oregon.

St. John’s is making its first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2015, while Arizona State is playing in the First Four games for the second consecutive year. The Sun Devils lost 60-56 to Syracuse in Dayton last season.

Mismatches When St. John’s Has the Ball

Junior guard Shamorie Ponds (19.5 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 5.2 apg) is the engine that makes St. John’s go and one of the most electric scorers in the country with 10 games of 25 or more points. The Red Storm excel at limiting turnovers, ranking sixth nationally in offensive turnover percentage. They also are a respectable 91st in the country in 3P, shooting at  36.1% on the season. Much of that thanks to Ponds.

St. John’s needs to score to make up for its poor offensive rebounding. The Red Storm rank 342nd in the nation in offensive rebounding percentage. Within Big East conference games, they ranked dead last on the offensive boards.

What’s surprising is that their offense within the conference games has been very feast or famine. The Red Storm ranks eighth in the Big East in 2P% which is surprising given the great shot makers like Ponds, Mustapha Heron (14.9 ppg), and LJ Figueroa (14.3 ppg).

Mismatches when Arizona State Has the Ball

Arizona State is mediocre in all aspects on offense. The Sun Devils rank 186th in 3P percentage and 160th in 2P%. They are one of the worst free throw shooting teams averaging just 67.1% (300th).

The ASU thrives in on the offensive boards, which will cause problems for St. John’s. Senior forward Zylan Cheatham (11.8 ppg, 10.4 rpg) will be the Sun Devils’ best offensive weapon and get every opportunity for a double-double, provided he avoids foul trouble.

The biggest question for Arizona State will be: Can it win the turnover battle?

In their respective conference games, the Sun Devils ranked eighth in offensive turnovers while St. John’s was second best in forcing turnovers. There is also a drastic difference in steal percentages: Arizona State allowing the second-most steals in the Pac-12 while St. John’s tallied the most defensive steals in the Big East.

The Pick

Both teams have offensive talent, but have been plagued by inconsistency all season. St. John’s has better offensive balance and the best player on the floor in Ponds.

Arizona State will hurt the Red Storm on the boards, but that won’t be enough to steal the First Four win. Take St. John’s to produce a better all-around game and win the game outright in Dayton.

THE PICK: St. John’s +2, would bet it up to St. John’s -2.5

Action Network Projected Spread

Get point spreads for this game and every possible tournament matchup with our bracket simulator built by Sean Koerner, our Director of Predictive Analytics, a former oddsmaker and FantasyPros’ most accurate in-season fantasy football ranker from 2015-2017.

  • Spread: Arizona State PK
  • Total: 147.5
  • Proj Score: Arizona State 74 | St. John’s 74
  • Win Probability: Arizona State 50% | St. John’s 50%

Editor’s note: The opinions on this game is from the individual writer and are based on his research, analysis and perspective. They are independent of, and may not always match with, the algorithm-driven Best Bets from Sports Insights.

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