St. John’s vs Seton Hall Odds, Picks: Why This is Perfect Spot for Johnnies

St. John’s vs Seton Hall Odds, Picks: Why This is Perfect Spot for Johnnies article feature image

Photo by Porter Binks/Getty Images. Pictured: Joel Soriano (St. John’s)

St. John's vs Seton Hall Odds

Saturday, Dec. 31
12 p.m. ET
St. John's Odds
-110o / -110u
Seton Hall Odds
-110o / -110u
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute college basketball odds here.

Seton Hall returns to Newark on Saturday still searching for its first Big East win of the season. The Pirates have lost three in a row, with their most recent being a 14-point loss to Marquette.

While they will have the luxury of being back at home, things won't be any easier against the Red Storm. St. John's will be looking to get back to .500 in conference play after losing two games in a row for the first time this season.

The Red Storm came into conference play on fire after starting the year 11-1. However, it may have been due to the Red Storm's 345th-ranked non-conference schedule.

Can the Pirates finally pick up their first conference win of the season against a Red Storm team trying to beat fraud allegations?

St. John's Red Storm

Conference play has been a wake-up call for many teams across college basketball, and St. John's is no exception.

The Red Storm's true shooting percentage wasn't great at any point in the season, but when it comes to non-con vs. conference play, it's fallen from 54.7% to 49.6%.

It's a small sample size, and they've played two of the top six teams in the conference, but the drop-off has been noticeable for St. John's. The Red Storm rank ninth in the Big East in effective field goal and 2-point percentage, while they're eighth in 3-point percentage.

On defense, they've been slightly better, ranking fifth in the conference in defensive efficiency and effective field goal percentage.

If there's one thing that's remained consistent for the Red Storm, it's their ability to force turnovers. St. John's is 23rd in the nation in steals per game (9.2) and forces 15.1 turnovers per game, which is 55th in the nation.

The Red Storm also created most of those turnovers and rely on them offensively. On the season, St. John's is averaging 19.2 points off of turnovers and 17.9 points off the fast break.

Against Seton Hall, the Red Storm's most significant advantages will all come from around the rim. The Pirates have struggled to limit opponents on the offensive glass — allowing 9.4 offensive rebounds per game — and it's only gotten worse in conference play.

St. John's, meanwhile, is one of the best teams in college basketball in that area, averaging 12.1 offensive rebounds and 14.4 second-chance points per game.

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Seton Hall Pirates

The Pirates' offense has left a lot to be desired since the start of the season, but it hasn't taken a significant drop-off since conference play began.

Although Seton Hall has yet to score more than 70 points in three conference games, it's second-to-last in the Big East in offensive efficiency.

Seton Hall relies heavily on shots around the rim and has yet to find much success from really anywhere else.

Photo by CBB Analytics

Unfortunately, the Pirates be up against yet another dominant Big East big man in Joel Soriano. Also, St. John's — as a team — has limited opponents to just 61.7% at the rim.

On the defensive end, Seton Hall has been better overall, but it doesn't match up well with St. John's. The Pirates have allowed teams to hit 62.8% at the rim on the season and have only gotten worse since conference play started.

Through its first three conference games, Seton Hall has allowed teams to hit 70% at the rim. I don't see that improving against a Red Storm squad that thrives on driving to the basket.

St. John's vs. Seton Hall Betting Pick

While St. John's looked a lot better than it may truly be to start the season, I wouldn't be surprised to see the Red Storm playing at that level again.

Seton Hall has struggled too much with turnovers and defending at the rim for me to have confidence in it against the Red Storm.

In the Pirates' game against Xavier, Zach Freemantle and Jack Nunge excelled around the rim, as did Marquette's Oso Ighodaro in Seton Hall's last game. I expect Soriano to do the same for St. John's.

One thing to take note of is that St. John's is tied with UConn for the top spot in the Big East when it comes to scoring runs of 10 or more unanswered points this season. Seton Hall has given up six of those such runs so far this year.

I'll be backing the Red Storm as high as 3-point favorite over the Pirates on Saturday.

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