Although Monday’s college basketball slate only features a trio of ranked teams, there are still some intriguing situational spots, including St. John’s at Seton Hall. Spots are geared by bounce-back, letdown, look-ahead or revenge opportunities. Let’s break down my college basketball best bets for this Big East tilt.
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St. John’s Red Storm at Seton Hall Pirates
Mike Anderson’s unit won’t find itself in my college basketball power rankings this week after falling to the Pirates 66-60 on Saturday as one-point underdogs. It was the first leg of a home-and-home between these Big East foes. Are we bound for a similar result in Walsh Gym?
According to ShotQuality, the Johnnies were actually expected to squeak out a win against Seton Hall, possessing plenty of negative shooting luck. With St. John’s forward Julian Champagnie going just 3-of-14 from the floor, its offense was out of sync, generating 0.79 points per possession (PPP) in the process.
As well as Myles Cale performed defensively in that game, the Pirates have struggled to limit opponents’ open 3-point looks off of dribble penetration. Following a 5-of-19 (26.3%) performance from behind the arc, look for the Red Storm to improve upon that percentage.
Moreover, Anderson’s floor-spacing offense thrives when its pressure defense is accruing takeaways, notching the 22nd-highest turnover rate in the country. With Kadary Richmond handling the lead guard duties, Kevin Willard’s bunch accrued 17 turnovers. The Johnnies just need to be more efficient in transition.
Seton Hall point guard Bryce Aiken (concussion) didn’t suit up in the first meeting, and his status is unknown for this one. Even with Aiken in the starting five, the Pirates’ miscues haven’t come to a halt. In their controversial loss at Marquette on Jan. 15, they tallied 17 of them, including five via Aiken.
While St. John’s will be in for a raucous road environment, with the smaller gym only seating Seton Hall students, I’m anticipating another tightly-contested final score. We should get a motivated effort from Anderson’s crew after losing five of its last seven games.
Eli’s Bet: St. John’s +8 (placed on Sunday night at PointsBet Sportsbook)
College Basketball Best Bets: St. John’s +7 or better
Best Available Line: St. John’s