St. John’s vs Providence Odds, Picks: Friars to Continue to Roll?
Photo by Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Ed Croswell (Providence)
St. John’s vs Providence Odds
|St. John’s Odds|
-110o / -110u
-110o / -110u
What better way to get your Saturday started than with some Big East basketball?
One of our opening matchups will pit two teams who have gone in very different directions.
St. John’s will hit the road after losing its first two Big East away games to take on the Providence Friars. The Red Storm are just 1-4 in conference play, with their only win coming over lowly DePaul.
On the other side, it appears to be Providence’s world and we’re all just living in it. The Friars are riding an eight-game win streak and sit atop the Big East at 5-0 in conference play. The Friars’ most recent win was their most impressive, as they knocked off fourth-ranked UConn.
With two teams so far apart when it comes to performance, is there any reason to believe the Friars don’t plow through the Johnnies?
Things have been rough for St. John’s, but will giving up the most points in regulation in program history be turning point for this Johnnies team?
St. John’s was at its worst against Marquette, giving up 96 points to the Golden Eagles.
Defense has been a concern all season for the Red Storm, who have yet to win a Quad I or II game (currently 0-5). The Johnnies are 222nd nationally in points per game (72.3) and have been much worse defensively since conference play began, giving up 85 per contest over their last five.
At the offensive end, St. John’s big man Joel Soriano is going to be a force to be reckoned with whether the rest of the team is good or not.
The Red Storm push the pace and are one of the top teams in the nation when it comes to 2-point attempts per game. St John’s also ranks in the 99th percentile when it comes to shots around the rim, due largely to Soriano and its focus on driving to the basket.
However, Providence has already proven its ability to limit teams at the rim.
There was a lot of doubt about these Friars coming into conference play. Providence had not beaten a single team ranked better than 200th in KenPom.
Then the Friars beat Seton Hall and everyone said: well, Seton Hall isn’t good. Then the Friars beat Marquette in double OT and everyone said it was because they were at home.
Then the Friars topped Butler and DePaul and no one batted an eye.
After giving one of the top-five teams in the country their second loss of the year, it’s time to take Providence serious.
The Friars have yet to lose a game at home. They’re also the best team in the Big East when it comes to offensive rebound percentage, as well as free-throw rate.
Providence ranks in the 93rd percentile nationally over its last five games in defensive rebounding.
The Friars’ 31.6 free-throw attempts per game — as a result of drawing 23.2 fouls per game — is absolutely ridiculous.
Providence has been the Kryptonite to the Big East big men, and there’s no reason to believe that won’t continue against St. John’s and Soriano.
St. John’s vs. Providence Betting Pick
The Johnnies were without Andre Curbelo against Marquette due to a suspension, and he’s expected to return on Saturday. But with all due respect, I think that could be a negative for the Red Storm.
Curbelo is averaging 3.1 turnovers per game, and the rest of the team isn’t much better, as it totals for 13.6 per contest.
Providence has been among the top-30 teams in the nation when it comes to forcing turnovers, pressuring teams into 20.1 per contest.
That paired with the Friars’ ability to draw fouls could eliminate St. John’s biggest asset (Soriano).
That makes this an easy decision for me. Back the Friars as high as an 8.5-point favorite at home on Saturday.