College basketball betting action kicks off at high noon on Saturday at Madison Square Garden, where the St. John’s Red Storm (12-6, 9-6 ATS) will play host to the Villanova Wildcats (17-1, 13-4 ATS). The Cats have covered seven of their L/8 games overall, including Wednesday night’s 94-68 win over Rutgers in Piscataway. The Johnnies’ three-game cover streak came to a halt in Hartford on Wednesday with a 75-59 defeat against the Huskies.
Villanova’s offense is one of the most difficult to contain in the nation. Only two teams have scored more points than HC Jay Wright’s team has this year (85.2 per game). The Wildcats have scored at least 92 points in seven of their L/11 overall. The leader of the bunch, senior G Scottie Reynolds is playing particularly strong basketball right now. Even though he only scored nine points against the Scarlet Knights during the week, he has averaged 21.5 points per game in his L/10 overall, including a 36-point outburst against Louisville a week and a half ago. At 13-4 ATS, Villanova enters the weekend with the best mark in the land for NCAA basketball wagering fanatics.
St. John’s badly needs a landmark victory in order to get back into the NCAA Tournament discussions, and a ‘W’ against one of the top teams in the country would surely do just that. The 60-point barrier appears to be of great importance for the Red Storm. When they hold their opponent to 60 points or fewer, they are a perfect 7-0 SU and 5-0 ATS on the season. Any more than that, and they are just 5-6 SU and 4-6 ATS. Keep an eye on G DJ Kennedy, who is one of just two players on this team averaging double digits in scoring. He is contributing 6.6 rebounds and 3.3 assists per game to go with 15.6 PPG.
You have to go back to 2003 to find the last time St. John’s knocked Villanova off SU. The Cats took the most recent meeting between these teams 76-57 in the City of Brotherly Love as 14.5-point favorites in ’08-’09, but the tide may be turned now that the setting has changed to MSG. Still, Nova holds a 7-3 ATS advantage over the L/10 contests between these Big East rivals.
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