The St. John’s Red Storm (11-13, 0-11 Big East) will try to snap the nine-game winning streak of Villanova when they travel to Wells Fargo Center to go head-to-head with the No. 1 Wildcats (22-1, 9-1 Big East). Villanova is a 17-point favorite on the opening line, while the games Over/Under (O/U) opened at 149.5 points. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. ET on Wednesday, February 7, 2018, and it can be seen on CBS Sports Network.
St. John’s Red Storm vs. Villanova Wildcats Odds Preview
The Red Storm beat the No. 4 Duke Blue Devils in their last outing, 81-77. Shamorie Ponds was the top scorer from either team with 33 points on 12-for-23 shooting. St. John’s turnover percentage was their biggest strength over Duke. The Red Storm had a rate of 13.1 (better than their season average of 14.1), while the Blue Devils posted a mark of 22.0 (above their season average of 14.0).
The last time the Wildcats played, they topped the Seton Hall Pirates, 92-76. Villanova received a boost from Omari Spellman, who was the games leading scorer with 26 points on 9-for-12 shooting. Villanova played a perfect game. They had a superb free throw rate of 0.254 (above their season average of 0.226) and a turnover percentage of 8.6 (better than their season average of 13.0). For those same stats, Seton Hall recorded marks of 0.113 and 12.8, respectively.
Based on historical performance heading into this one, ball protection could play a significant role in this meeting. Villanova commits the fifth-fewest miscues in the NCAA (turnover percentage of 14.6 percent), while the disruptive defense of St. John’s forces the sixth-most (opponents turnover percentage of 24.5 percent). Moreover, the Red Storm rank 264th in free throw attempt (FTA) rate (0.216), while the Wildcats rank 20th in opponents FTA rate (0.176).
Donte DiVincenzo has taken his game to another level over the last five games for Villanova, averaging 16.2 points, 3.4 assists and 1.4 steals per game.
These teams have already met once this season. The Wildcats won 78-71. The Wildcats dominated nearly every facet of the game. They had a fantastic free throw rate of 0.358 and a ridiculous offensive rebounding percentage of 33.3. The Red Storm had marks of 0.219 and 26.3, respectively, for those same stats. In the loss, Ponds led all scorers on the team with 37 points.
St. John’s Red Storm vs. Villanova Wildcats Prediction
Free Basketball Tip: SU Winner – Villanova, ATS Winner – Villanova, O/U – Over
- The Red Storm rank eighth in steals per game (9.1) while the Wildcats rank 70th (7.0).
- Both of these teams are great at blocking the ball. St. John’s is 10th in the nation with 5.7 blocks per game while Villanova is 57th with 4.2 blocks per game.
- Villanova ranks 13th in three pointers attempted per game (28.4) while St. John’s ranks 248th in three pointers allowed per game (24.6).
- The Wildcats rank 65th in rebounds allowed per game (32.7) while the Red Storm rank 284th (40.0).
- Villanova ranks 16th in assists per game (17.3) while St. John’s ranks 179th (13.0).
- The Wildcats average margin of victory in their last five games has been 15.8, down from 18.7 for the season.
- During their last five games, the Red Storm have scored an average of 69.2 points per game (3.4 below their season average) and allowed an average of 76.2 points per game (5.0 above their season average).