Tuesday College Basketball Odds & Picks: Georgetown-Providence, Butler-St. John’s
Raymond Carlin III-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Bryce Nze
You only have one more day to bet in 2019, so why not add some college hoops to the fun and turn to the Big East? It offers up a pair of dynamic conference openers on national TV.
Georgetown, St. John’s and Butler are all off to better than expected starts, while Providence looks to build on its recent upset of Texas. Here’s how I’ll be playing these two games on FS1.
College Basketball Odds & Picks
Odds as of Tuesday morning and via PointsBet, where Action Network users can access an exclusive promotion to get a 200% deposit match (deposit $50, bet with $150). No strings attached. No rollover required.
Georgetown at Providence
- Spread: Providence -1
- Over/Under: 151.5
- Time: 5:30 p.m. EST
- TV: FS1
The Dunkin’ Donuts Center has earned a reputation for ruining road favorites’ trips to Rhode Island. Since Ed Cooley took over at Providence in 2011, the Friars are 18-12 ATS as a home dog, with two straight-up wins over top-five opponents in the last three years.
But as a home favorite under Cooley, PC is 41-47-2 ATS (46.5%, -9.3% ROI). This season they’re 3-3 when favored at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center, with a SU loss to Penn as a 15-point chalk.
The issues for Providence mainly stem from an offense that struggles shooting the rock. The Friars’ effective field goal percentage checks in at 46.8% (265th nationally), and they’re one of the nation’s worst free-throw shooting teams (65.5%, 298th).
They’ve mitigated this issue, for the most part, by crashing the offensive glass with 12.8 offensive boards per game to rank fourth in all of D1.
Georgetown won’t completely negate Providence’s rebounding edge, but it is worth noting that during the Hoyas’ current six-game winning streak, GU has held opponents to single-digit offensive rebounds five times for an average of 8.8 per game.
Focusing further into the paint, the reason why Georgetown is a sharp play in this spot is Omer Yurtseven. The NC State transfer and 4-star prospect out of Istanbul is finally living up to the lofty hype.
He is the fourth most efficient center in all of college basketball, averaging a double-double (18.2 ppg, 10.2 rpg) with nearly two rejections per game. Providence’s Nate Watson will struggle to contain the Turkish big, and that should prove the difference in this Big East opener.
Pick: Georgetown +1
Butler at St. John’s
- Spread: Butler-4.5
- Over/Under: 138
- Time: 7:30 p.m. EST
- TV: FS1
Butler is the talk of the Big East this season. The Bulldogs were selected to finish eighth in the conference by the coaches in the preseason.
Now 12-1, with wins over Minnesota, Missouri, Ole Miss, Florida, and Purdue, it’s clear that LaVall Jordan has a well-oiled machine chugging along in Indianapolis.
The No. 11 Bulldogs are 30th or better nationally in the following categories:
- Effective FG%
- Avg Margin Of Victory
- Ast/TO Ratio
The scary part for opposing teams is that Butler has gotten the majority of its victories without Derrik Smits, a highly-touted grad transfer from Valparaiso. The son of former Pacer great Rik Smits is finally healthy after dealing with a knee issue this fall.
If his last game against UL Monroe is any indication (16 points in 13 minutes), Butler now has a 7-foot-1 sixth man that will only add to their devastatingly efficient offensive attack.
St. John’s was selected behind Butler in the Big East Preseason Coaches’ Poll, and like the Bulldogs, they’re taking their frustrations out on opponents. The Johnnies are 11-2 on the season and received votes in the AP Poll this week.
Winners of seven straight, SJU is proving capable of limiting teams offensive. Since allowing 80 points to Arizona State on Nov. 23, coincidentally their last loss, the Red Storm are holding opponents to just 65.4 points per game.
They’ve been fierce around the tin this season, reeling in 12.4 offensive boards (No. 8 nationally) and swatting 5.5 shots per game (16th). Toss in Mike Anderson’s defense, which is tallying 9.9 steals (third) and forcing 17.9 turnovers per game (10th), and you have a team that can survive shooting droughts.
That’s really where the gambling angle reveals itself in this matchup. For all of the positives SJU’s rebounding and defense provide, they flat out can’t shoot.
The Johnnies’ effective shooting percentage is really lousy (47.9%, 249th) and that fact is amplified when you consider five of their 13 games have been played against sub-265 teams, according to RPI.
Expect a defensive struggle and a half-court grind down the stretch at Carnesecca Arena.
Pick: Under 138