Expect Scoring To Fall Short In St. John's-Georgetown Clash

Georgetown Hoyas players

Monday, January 9, 2017 2:24 PM GMT

Off to an 0-4 start in Big East play, the Georgetown Hoyas aim for their first conference win as favorites on the NCAA basketball odds vs. the St. John's Red Storm.

Yeah, I know. There's a football game tonight to settle the 2016 college season once and for all, and that has monopolized the attention of the vast majority of fans and bettors. But on the off chance you're not among them, or just need a little extra action to get your week rolling, we have a nice little college hoops rivalry on tap between the St. John's Red Storm and Georgetown Hoyas.

FOX Sports 1 certainly isn't going to get the numbers that ESPN will have for the gridiron clash between Alabama and Clemson, but the good news is you can catch most of this for the 6:30 PM (ET) matchup at Verizon Center in Washington DC before the CFP Championship even begins. BetOnline sent the Big East battle out with the Hoyas laying 7, and that's where the spread sits this morning after it briefly jumped to -7½. Playing the total means a decision on a 154.5 point mark.

Fast Big East Start Sputters For Red Storm

St. John's (8-9 straight up, 8-8 against the spread) surprised us all by getting off to a 2-0 start in Big East play, both wins coming after a big upset on the road against former conference for Syracuse where the Red Storm was getting 13 on the NCAA basketball odds. Chris Mullin's side followed that triumph with an upset of Butler in New York, then took care of business at DePaul.

Not much went right last week, however, when they fell at home to Creighton and on the road at Xavier. There's plenty of offense, St. John's in the top 60 nationally averaging over 74 PPG, but the problem is giving up almost the same number of points.

John Thompson III and Georgetown (8-8 SU, 4-10 ATS) find themselves in a very unfamiliar place sitting at the bottom of the conference standings with four consecutive losses to begin Big East play. Defense and rebounding, trademarks for the Hoyas in the past aren't there, and they would be in even worse shape if not for connecting on 46.4% of their field goals.

Hoyas Seeking 3rd-Straight Win In Series

The schools are meeting on the hardwood for the 106th time, and it has been a fairly even matchup over the years with St. John's holding a 55-50 advantage. Georgetown has been closing that gap by winning eight of the last 10 meetings, including both tussles a year ago in rather easy fashion. On this floor, the Hoyas scored a 92-67 decision to comfortably cover a 14 point spread, the final going 'over' the number for the 3rd-straight time. You have to go back almost 14 years, January 2003, to find St. John's last win in Georgetown territory.

With both teams going through tough times, it really has been St. John's exceeding expectations so far this season. Still, 3-point shooting for the Red Storm has fallen off, and I'm counting on offense on both ends being down a bit tonight with a free college basketball pick on the 'under.'

Free NCAAB Pick: Under 154.5

Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle

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