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Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 13:46 PM

Xavier vs. St. John's Predictions, Odds, Preview


Feb. 16, 2021
Joe Williams
NCAA BK Expert
VegasInsider.com

In Tuesday Big East action, the Xavier Musketeers (11-3, 4-3) travel to meet the St. John's Red Storm (13-8, 7-7). This is a battle between mid-tier teams in need of conference victories to enhance their resume for the NCAA Tournament selection committee.

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Xavier-St. John's Betting Odds

Line Movements

  • Spread: St. John's -2
  • Money-Line: St. John's -124 Xavier +104
  • Total: 153

Odds Subject to Change

Xavier is looking to bounce back after an 80-72 setback on its home floor against Connecticut on Saturday, not coming close to covering as 3.5-point favorites as the OVER (135.5) cashed. The loss snapped a three-game winning streak which saw the Musketeers cover in two of those outings.

The Musketeers have had a modicum of success on the road this season, spanking Butler 68-55 as a bucket underdog on Jan. 30 after a 20-day pause due to COVID-19. They suffered a 66-61 loss at Creighton in their prior road foray, but they covered a seven-point number on Jan. 23. Before that they had an impressive 77-69 win at Cincinnati as three-point underdogs. That means they're 2-1 SU/3-0 ATS in three true road games this season.

St. John's is also looking to bounce back after a 76-73 overtime loss last time out at Butler. That snapped a season-best six-game winning streak and 8-0 ATS cover run which started Jan. 12 and ran all the way through Feb. 6.

These teams met back on Jan. 6 in Cincinnati, and the Musketeers protected their home hardwood with a low-scoring 69-61 win as 6.5-point favorites. It was all about Jason Carter on that day, as he went for 11 points and 16 rebounds while blocking a shot and posting a steal.

Betting Analysis – Xavier Musketeers

Straight Up - SU, Against the Spread - ATS, Over-Under (O/U)

  • SU: 13-3
  • ATS: 9-7
  • SU - Home: 6-1
  • SU - Away: 7-2
  • O/U: 10-6

Xavier has been grinding out victories with their deliberate style on offense and their solid defensive effort, especially since conference play began. As mentioned above, they topped the Johnnies 69-61 just four games ago on Jan. 6 before the pause while covering a 6.5-point number.

Overall, however, the Musketeers are just 3-3 SU/ATS across the past six outings, while the over-under is also 3-3. It's hard to get a good grasp on which Xavier team will show up lately.

They haven't been a bad offensive team this season, going for 77.5 PPG to rank 62nd in the country, while hitting 47.3% from the field to rank 43rd. But the offense has slowed to a trickle lately, as they're averaging 68.7 PPG across the past six while limiting their foes to 70.0 PPG.

The Musketeers might have to do without a little bench depth, as forward Dieonte Miles is dealing with an undisclosed injury. He is averaging 3.0 PPG with 1.4 RPG and a team-best 71.4% field-goal percentage in seven games in limited action.

Betting Analysis – St. John's Red Storm

Straight Up - SU, Against the Spread - ATS, Over-Under (O/U)

  • SU: 13-8
  • ATS: 12-9
  • SU - Home: 8-2
  • SU - Away: 5-6
  • O/U: 13-7-1

After a slow start during conference play, the Red Storm have gotten hot to work themselves right into the middle of the pack and into the hunt for a spot somewhere in the postseason. While they were cooled off 76-73 in overtime at Butler on Feb. 9, they had won six in a row and covered eight straight before the OT loss.

St. John's has been surprisingly effective on the offensive end of the floor, going for 79.4 PPG to rank 34th in the nation. It's hit or miss from behind the three-point line, hitting at a 35.7% clip to rank 95th. They're a pretty good free-throw shooting team, too, hitting 74% to rank in the top-third in the country.

The Johnnies struggle on the defensive end of the floor, coughing up 76.4 PPG to rank just 299th in the nation, and they're 294th in defensive field-goal percentage (46.4) and 249th in three-point defense (35%). Their defense, or lack thereof, might be the biggest obstacle for St. John's either making the postseason, or going very far should they qualify.

They scored a huge win last time out on their home floor, topping conference leader and Top 10-ranked Villanova by a 70-59 count as nine-point underdogs. Overall they have covered five straight games on their home floor while the UNDER has connected in three of the contests.


Inside the Stats – Xavier Musketeers

  • PS/G: 77.5 (61st)
  • PA/G: 69.3 (151st)
  • Off Rtg: 108.3 (64th)
  • Def Rtg: 96.8 (111th)

Inside the Stats – St. John's Red Storm

  • PS/G: 79.4 (34th)
  • PA/G: 76.4 (299th)
  • Off Rtg: 105.8 (105th)
  • Def Rtg: 101.8 (228th)

Key Players to Watch

  • XAV - Zach Freemantle (16.1 PPG, 8.6 RPG)
  • XAV - Paul Scruggs (14.2 PPG, 6.4 APG)
  • STJ - Julian Champagnie (19.7 PPG, 7.4 RPG)
  • STJ - Posh Alexander (11.6 PPG, 4.2 APG)

Xavier-St. John's Predictions

The Musketeers took the first meeting in a low-scoring 69-61 battle as 6.5-point favorites in Cincinnati, and they're the more well-balanced team between the two. Xavier has the advantage because St. John's has struggled mightily on the defensive end of the floor. And Xavier will be hungry after a setback against UConn last time out.

Xavier enters this one with a 7-2 ATS mark across its past nine road games, and they're 4-1 ATS in the past five against teams with a winning percentage over .600. St. John's will make it a close one, as they have also been very hot against the number. The Red Storm are 5-0 ATS in the past five at home, and 7-3 ATS in the previous 10 following a straight-up loss.

  • Score Prediction: Xavier 76 St. John's 72
  • Best Bets: Xavier +2
  • Best Bets: Under 153

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