Is Villanova a safe bet against St John's

St. John’s at Villanova Spread, Free Pick & TV Info

Written by on February 3, 2017

No. 4 Villanova continues to lead the Big East Conference and is a heavy favorite to win the regular-season title for yet another season. The defending national champions shouldn’t be tested too much by a middling St. John’s side Saturday. The Wildcats will be double-digit favorites on NCAA basketball lines.

St. John’s at Villanova Spread, Free Pick & TV Info

When: Saturday, Feb. 4, 8 PM ETWhere: Wells Fargo Center, PhiladelphiaTV: CBS Sports NetworkStream: CBSsports.comRadioSt. John / VillanovaOpening NCAAB Lines: Villanova favored by TBA

Why Bet On St. John’s?

The Johnnies come off one of their best efforts of the season, an 86-72 win over Marquette – which not long ago upset Villanova. SJU was led by a career-high 23 points from Bashir Ahmed. It came on an 8-of-17 shooting performance, including a 5-of- 5 showing from the free throw line. He added six rebounds.The backcourt duo of Shamorie Ponds and Marcus LoVett proved critical once again. Ponds filled up the score sheet for the Red Storm, tallying 18 points, seven rebounds, five assists and four steals while surrendering just one turnover in 39 minutes. LoVett poured in 15 of his 17 points in the second half, shooting 6-of- 9 from the floor and 3-of- 5 from three-point range. Kassoum Yakwe had his best showingof the year on the offensive end, netting a season-high 14 points to go along with six rebounds and three blocks.As a team, the Red Storm shot 48.5 percent from the floor and made 10 of their 24 attempts from beyond the arc, marking the 12th time this season that the Red Storm has hit 10 or more triples in a contest.Plagued by the Red Storm’s full-court pressure and ball-hawking Ponds and LoVett, the Golden Eagles committed a season-high 17 turnovers in the loss.“A lot of times we talk offense, sharing the ball and getting assists, but defense is teamwork too,” SJU coach Chris Mullin said. “It takes time to understand a guy’s tendencies. We always want to pressure the ball, but you can’t have five guys running around wild. I think we’re getting more comfortable when and where to do that.”Marquette rallied early in the second to pull within four with 16 minutes to go on a three-pointer by redshirt junior Andrew Rowsey, who led the Golden Eagles with 21 points. That’s as close as it would get. Marquette missed its next six shots and committed three turnovers over the ensuing 4 1/2 minutes, which opened the door for a 13-0 run by St. John’s

Why Bet On Villanova?

The Wildcats were in a dogfight Wednesday at Providence but escaped with a 66-57 win. A long 3-pointer by Friars freshman Alpha Diallo cut the deficit to 59-57. The Friars had a chance to get closer after Nova’s Jalen Brunson was called for traveling with just under a minute remaining and the Wildcats up by four. But the sophomore guard stole the ball on the other end and completed a three-point play that put the game out of reach. Brunson scored seven points in the final 1:38.Josh Hart added 17 points and eight rebounds for the Wildcats (21-2, 8-2 Big East), who led by as many as 13 in the second half. The Wildcats are 3-2 as visitors in conference play this season, and half their remaining eight games are on the road.It was an odd game for Villanova offensively. The Wildcats came out hot in the first 10 minutes of each half — 9 of 14 in the first and 10 of 15 in the second. But they finished each half poorly – 2 for 14, 3 of 13 — and were on the ropes late.“Obviously you have to give Providence credit for switching defenses up,” said Hart, who shot 2 of 9 in the second half. “We just have to play for a full 40 minutes. We have to get in the lane, get each other shots, turn down good shots for better shots, and we didn’t do that for a full 40 minutes.”Kris Jenkins continued to struggle, going 2 for 12 (2 of 9 from three) Wednesday night. In his last three games, he is shooting 13.8 percent (4 of 29) overall and 17.4 percent (4 of 23) from deep.On Jan. 14, Villanova won at St. John’s 70-57. Villanova had trouble shooting early in the game, missing eight of its first nine 3-point attempts. Reserve Dante DiVincenzo changed that by making three of the Wildcats’ 21 3-point attempts in the game.

St. John’s at Villanova Free Pick: Villanova Wildcats

Take Villanova on NCAAB odds.