St. John’s Red Storm vs Villanova Wildcats: Free Big East NCAAB Pick, 1–8–2019

Free NCAAB Spread Pick by Guy Eslin of

St. John’s Red Storm vs Villanova Wildcats

NCAAB: Tuesday, January 8th 7:00 PM EST
Odds: Villanova -6

Two of the top Big East teams take the court on Tuesday night on the Main Line of Philadelphia when the #23 St. John’s Red Storm take on the defending National Champions, Villanova Wildcats. St. John’s (14–1) is a 0.5 game behind Villanova (11–4) in the Big East standings and oddsmakers list the Wildcats as -6 point home favorites but are the Red Storm getting overlooked in tonight’s matchup?

St. John’s is off to a terrific start to their season with the lone loss coming at the end of December to Seton Hall. The Red Storm has won its last two games since then, including a 97–94 nail bitter at Georgetown this past weekend that engineered their return to the Top 25. Shamorie Ponds (20.4 PPG) leads the Red Storm in scoring and dropped 37 points in the win over Georgetown and is his second 37-point effort of the season to go with performances of 35 and 32 points, as well as four other 20-point efforts. All five of St. John’s starters average double-digit points and support this team that averages 84.7 PPG (18th) and 40% from 3-point range (12th). Defensively, the Red Storm allow 71.9 PPG which will need to improve throughout the season to stay within the top 25.

Defense is the key to Villanova’s success and on average, they allow 65.7 PPG (56th). The Wildcats average 74.3 PPG and they are led by G Phil Booth. Villanova has become known for great guard play and Phil Booth carries on the tradition. Phil Booth (17.3 points) and Eric Paschall (15.7), both have scored at least nine points in every game, are the senior leaders of a mostly inexperienced Wildcats team. Villanova has been solid at home, and are an extremely dangerous team to play when the shots are falling. The Wildcats suffered back-to-back losses to Penn and Kansas in the middle of December but they have won three straight since the setbacks.

The Red Storm are 5–1–1 ATS in their last 7 vs. Big East
The Red Storm are 5–2 ATS in the last 7 meetings
Wildcats are 19–7 ATS in their last 26 home games

This single digit spread line shows that St. John’s is garnering respect in the Big East. The Red Storm have been successful behind the coaching of Chris Mullin. St. John’s has emerged as one of the top teams in the Big East and they will prove it tonight vs Villanova. I’ll gladly take the +6 points and back the visiting Red Storm. The Wildcats aren’t the same team that won the title last season and they won’t have enough scoring to keep up with St. John’s.

St. John’s vs Villanova Pick: St. John’s Red Storm +6