The Butler Bulldogs will travel on the road to Carnesecca Arena in Jamaica, Queens in New York for a Big East Conference tilt versus the St. John’s Red Storm.
The Red Storm find themselves back on the proverbial bubble following a disappointing defeat at the hands of Providence over the weekend. St. John’s enters with a 17-7 overall record and a 5-6 mark in league play, putting them in a five-way tie for third place in the Big East standings. Butler is also among the teams tied for third place in the Big East with a 5-6 conference record after winning their previous two Big East contests. Will St. John’s be able to avoid an upset at home against an improving Butler squad?
Butler improves to 5-6 in Big East play
Butler won its second straight Big East contest over the weekend, defeating Georgetown 73-69 on the road on Saturday. Kamar Baldwin scored a team-high 18 points, while Jordan Tucker added 15 for the Bulldogs, who shot 10-for-26 from beyond the arc to help the Bulldogs lead for the majority of the game.
— FOX College Hoops (@CBBonFOX) January 19, 2019
LaValle Jordan’s squad comes in slotted at No. 52 in the latest KenPom rankings after inching one step closer to the .500-mark in league play. The Bulldogs have scored 111.8 points per 100 possessions for the year (41st in the NCAA), but that number has dropped to 106.1 points per 100 possessions since the start of Big East play (5th in the Big East). Led by point guard Kamar Baldwin, the Bulldogs have done a good job of taking care of the basketball, turning the ball over on only 16.1 percent of their offensive possessions (3rd in the Big East) during the conference season. Jordan has also given his team the green light from long-range, as the Bulldogs have attempted 41.7 percent of their total shots from beyond the arc during Big East play (3rd in the Big East), while hitting 36.7 percent of their 3-point attempts (4th in the Big East).
On defense, Butler has limited opposing teams to just 99.4 points per 100 possessions (95th in the NCAA) for the season and 106.4 points per 100 possessions during conference play (6th in the Big East). Big East opponents have been able to get nearly anything they’ve wanted at the rim against Butler’s defense, which has allowed teams to shoot a blistering 53.5 percent from inside the arc through their first 11 conference games (10th in the Big East).
Red Storm miss Heron, fail to show up vs. Providence
The Red Storm were unable to keep their momentum going over the weekend, losing at home to Providence 70-56 despite 20 points from junior guard Shamorie Ponds. LJ Figueroa added 14 for the Red Storm, who shot just 2-for-12 from 3-point range on the night. St. John’s played without second-leading scorer Mustapha Heron, who was ruled out with a bruised right knee just 40 minutes prior to tip-off.
Shamorie Ponds is TOO SMOOTH. pic.twitter.com/V4aFahmqdP
— CBS Sports Network (@CBSSportsNet) February 9, 2019
Chris Mullin’s squad enters Tuesday’s matchup slotted at No. 53 in the latest KenPom rankings after their sluggish start to the conference season. The Red Storm are scoring 111.6 points per 100 possessions (46th in the NCAA), while turning the ball over on just 14.8 percent of their offensive possessions for the season (9th in the NCAA). St. John’s plays at the fastest pace in the Big East, but that has often meant that the Red Storm have settled for jump shots on the offensive end. They sport the worst offensive rebounding rate in the conference at 20.5 percent (10th in the Big East) and the second-worst free throw rate at 25.5 percent so far this year.
On defense, St. John’s has limited opponents to 99.2 points per 100 possessions (91st in the NCAA) for the year and 104.2 points per 100 possessions during conference play (5th in the Big East). The Red Storm have held Big East teams to an effective field goal percentage of only 50.2 percent (3rd in the Big East), while also forcing them to turn the ball over 18.2 percent of the time (3rd in the Big East).
- Red Storm are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games following an ATS loss.
- Red Storm are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games following a double-digit loss at home.
- Red Storm are 6-2 ATS in their last 8 games following a straight up loss
- Bulldogs are 8-18 ATS in their last 26 road games vs. a team with a winning home record.
- Bulldogs are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 vs. Big East.
- Bulldogs are 1-7 ATS in their last 8 Tuesday games.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
This game features a matchup between two very good collegiate point guards in Shamorie Ponds and Kamar Baldwin — which could determine the outcome of this game. The home team has dominated this series, covering the spread in each of the last five meetings between these two teams. Meanwhile, Butler is 7-2 against the spread over their last nine meetings, but it is tough to see the Bulldogs covering the number in this spot. The Red Storm are fresh off of a no-show versus Providence and their NCAA Tournament hopes will be on the line in this one. Even though they could be without Heron in this matchup, take the Red Storm to cover the number at home versus Butler on Tuesday night.
Prediction: Pick: St. John’s Red Storm -3.5
Full-Game Total Pick
Butler has stayed under the projected total in each of their last four Big East contests, while St. John’s has gone under in each of their last four games and 9 of their last 12 Tuesday games. With the Red Storm potentially without one of their top offensive weapons, you have to like your chances of this game staying under the projected total at Carnesecca Arena on Tuesday night.
Prediction: Over 146