St. John’s vs. Marquette prediction: College basketball odds, picks, best bets
With Rick Pitino sidelined due to a COVID diagnosis, the Johnnies lost to Seton Hall by 15 on Tuesday for their second consecutive loss.
Im still not too worried about the 12-6 Johnnies, and it helps that Pitino will be back on the sideline for Saturdays monster home matchup with Marquette.
The Golden Eagles nter this matchup off a few tough losses to Seton Hall and Butler.
Still, they bounced back with a home win over Villanova on Monday and because they played Monday, theyll have a crucial rest advantage over the Johnnies.
While the situational spot screams a Slick Rick bounce-back, Marquette has won four straight in this rivalry for a reason the schematic matchup is too difficult for the Red Storm to overcome.
St. Johns vs. Marquette prediction
(12 p.m. ET, FOX)
Youd be surprised to hear that Pitino-led teams are only 4-4 against the spread as home underdogs since 2004.
So, I dont think we can bet the bounce-back, buy-low at-home angle here.
Instead, Im betting on Marquettes pick-and-roll sets.
Shaka Smart runs the nations most innovative and explosive ball-screen offense, leveraging Tyler Koleks playmaking, Oso Ighodaros versatility and Kam Jones sharpshooting to score at will in the half-court.
Marquettes ball-screen metrics took a nosedive during its mini-slump, but the Eagles bounced back against Villanova, scoring a whopping 1.18 PPP on 38 pick-and-roll sets in the 13-point win.
Marquette star Tyler Kolek (11). USA TODAY Sports via Reuters ConI expect more ball-screen buckets in this matchup because St. Johns pick-and-roll defense is poor.
The Red Storm rank 303rd nationally in pick-and-roll PPP allowed (1.02), and theyll struggle against Smarts offense.
On the other end of the court, Pitino also runs a ball-screen-heavy attack, leveraging his backcourt duo of Daniss Jenkins and Jordan Dingle as initiators.
Dingle, however, will not play Saturday.
The Red Storm also havent been overly effective in those sets.
So much of their offense comes from Joel Soriano crashing the offensive boards, snagging the misses and helping generate the nations most second-chance points per game (17).
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While Marquettes ball-screen defense has been questionable, the Eagles have been cleaning up on the defensive boards.
Ighodaros 18% defensive rebounding rate ranks ninth among Big East players, spearheading a defense in the top 40 nationally in second-chance PPG (8) and PPP allowed (0.94).
If Marquette keeps Soriano and Co. off the boards, thatll severely handicap St. Johns offensive production.
Id love to bet a home dog off consecutive losses in Big East play, but I cant do it with this schematic matchup.
Ill be backing the Eagles to snag another conference win and claw their way back to 4-3 and toward the top of the Big East standings.
St. Johns vs. Marquette prediction
Pick: Marquette -1.5 (-110, FanDuel)
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