Wednesday College Basketball Best Bets: Is DePaul Undervalued vs. St. John’s?

Written By Eli Hershkovich on March 9, 2022
College Basketball Best Bets

Within Wednesday’s 41-game college basketball slate, the Red Storm and Blue Demons battle for the third time this campaign — this one in the first round of the Big East tournament. Let’s dig into my college basketball best bets for this matchup.

Click on the odds below to place a bet, and continue the discussion in our Discord betting community, as we dissect the biggest games of the day. Stay up-to-date on the top-68 programs with my college basketball power rankings.

St. John’s Red Storm vs. DePaul Blue Demons

The two programs split their regular season series with the Blue Demons winning their latest contest on Feb. 27 as 2.5-point home underdogs. Red Storm center Joel Soriano (knee) didn’t suit up, but regardless, DePaul possesses plenty of matchup advantages.

  • All of Eli’s College Basketball Best Bets

DePaul Living At The Charity Stripe

Led by do-it-all point guard Javan Freeman-Liberty, who’s finally healthy, the Blue Demons generate the Big East’s fourth-highest free-throw rate. They’re inconsistent at the line (69.0%), but the Johnnies still surrender the second-highest rate in that department, combining to allow 60 of them in their two meetings.

Their prowess in that regard stems from the 86th-quickest average possession length (per KenPom) across Division I.

Getting into a track meet with St. John’s is a dangerous proposition. Mike Anderson’s bunch thrives off of speeding up their opponents and accruing takeaways in the process. Nevertheless, DePaul’s turnover rate isn’t as concerning with Freeman-Liberty in the lineup.

On top of that, the Blue Demons manufacture the 62nd-highest offensive rebounding rate. David Jones & Co. then put even more pressure on opposing defenses near the rim. Couple that with the Johnnies’ struggles to limit second-chance shots, and Terry Stubblefield’s group is in position for plenty of success.

Just How Undervalued Is DePaul?

Although the Blue Demons showcase a mediocre .500 record overall, seven of their losses came in “close games,” which is determined by an overtime result or a scoring margin of six points or less. Moreover, four of them were without either Freeman-Liberty or Jones — their top-two pieces.

Hence, bookmakers’ power ratings may have them too low, as they boast the talent for a Big East tournament run.

St. John’s – DePaul Betting Pick

At the very least, expect the Blue Demons to hang within a couple possessions. Despite most of the Madison Square Garden crowd cheering on the Red Storm, Stubblefield’s unit may be the one to advance to the quarterfinals.

Best Available Line: DePaul
Eli’s College Basketball Best Bet:

 

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Eli Hershkovich

Eli Hershkovich is a lead sports betting writer with TheLines and Catena Media, formerly with Audacy and The Action Network. His goal is to provide you with data and information to lead you to winning bets. Eli is an avid college basketball gambler — among many other sports — and still hasn't forgiven Virginia for ruining his 2018-2019 Texas Tech futures.

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