Free NCAA Basketball Pick ATS: Butler vs. St. John's

Jeff Grant

Saturday, January 3, 2015 1:45 PM UTC

Saturday, Jan. 3, 2015 1:45 PM UTC

St. John’s has dominated NCAA Basketball opponents at Carnesecca Arena this season, which provides it betting value as a home favorite against Butler Saturday.

It’s Official
Butler has dropped three of its last five games, including a 67-55 setback to the Villanova Wildcats as 11-point road underdogs Wednesday, but it should be motivated for this affair after the announcement that Chris Holtmann officially became the school’s 23rd men’s basketball head coach.

The Bulldogs have been led by Holtmann since October due to former head coach Brandon Miller requesting a medical leave of absence, which is important to consider when making your NCAA Basketball picks, as they’ve produced a solid 10-4 SU and 7-5 ATS record through 14 games.

It’s important to point out that the program is 1-4 ATS in its last five road games versus teams with a winning home record.


Bounce-Back Opportunity
St. John’s had its longest win streak in 15 years snapped Wednesday in dropping a 78-67 decision to the Seton Hall Pirates as 1.5-point road favorites, but it has won all seven games at this venue by an average of 14.7 points during the 2014-15 campaign.

The Red Storm has not allowed more than 57 points in its last five home games, which can’t be ignored when looking over the NCAA basketball odds, while it ranks sixth overall in defensive efficiency—five spots ahead of Saturday’s opponent.

Sports bettors will find that the squad has covered the number in six of its last eight games following a point spread loss.


Getting Defensive
The Bulldogs enter the first weekend of January leading the Big East in scoring defense, as they’ve held 13 of their 14 opponents under 70 points.

Butler does a great job in grabbing defensive rebounds and defending the three-point area, but it must take care of the basketball in limiting fast-break opportunities for a St. John’s team that forces opponents to turn it over on 21.4 percent of its possessions.


Missing Piece
The Red Storm will be without the services of guard Rysheed Jordan, who just announce that he’s taking a leave of absence to deal with personal and family matters in Philadelphia.

It’s a major blow for a program that has 2015 NCAA Tournament aspirations, as the sophomore was the team’s second-leading scorer and a Preseason All-Big East Second Team selection.


I’m going to recommend that readers back the Red Storm as one of their top ATS basketball picks, as they’ve covered their last six Saturday affairs, while the Bulldogs have failed to cash four of their last five opportunities in that situation.

Free NCAA Basketball Pick:  St. John’s Red Storm -3.5 at Bookmaker

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