Willie’s NCAAB season picks record: 26-21-2 (+3.90 units)
Tuesday, 7 p.m. ET (FS1)
Free NCAAB Pick: Marquette ATS
Best Line Offered: BetOnline
Coming off their first loss of the season on Saturday at Seton Hall, the St. John’s Red Storm return to their home arena hoping to quickly jump back in the win column and avoid an oh-&-two start in Big East play. It certainly won’t be easy with the Marquette Golden Eagles coming to Queens and looking to get their conference slate off on a winning note.
The New Year’s night clash should draw a packed house to Carnesecca Arena for what is a very crucial early showdown in the Big East. Speaking of early, early action at betting windows will determine which direction the spread moves off a pick ‘em, and the scoreboard target could eventually climb to 160.
Both Sides 4-1 ATS Last 5 Games
Steve Wojciechowski brings the Golden Eagles to New York as the only Big East team currently ranked, and riding an eight-game win streak while beating the spread the last four times out. Marquette is coming off an easy 84-41 win over Southern on Friday, the final margin of victory more than enough to cover the -31 line at Bookmaker. The Eagles handed Buffalo its first loss of the campaign the Friday before that, and the win streak includes victories over Wisconsin, Kansas State and Louisville, covering against the Badgers and Wildcats while just missing the ATS win over the Cardinals.
A late scoring drought at Seton Hall prevented the Red Storm from keeping their unbeaten record intact, though they still managed to stay within the NCAA basketball odds in the 76-74 setback. St. John’s was a big disappointment to bettors early on, covering just one of its first eight contests, but has since bounced back with spread winners in four of the last five. Junior point guard Shamorie Ponds had a horrible night against the Pirates, connecting on just 2-of-13 field goals and 1-of-6 from 3-point range, but still leads the Red Storm with an 18.2 PPG average as well as team-highs in assists (6.1) and steals (2.7).
Johnnies 6-2 ATS Last 8 Meetings
Each squad posted home wins and covers last year, the season split leaving Marquette with a 20-12 lead in the rivalry, 10-7 as Big East rivals. Ponds came up huge for the Red Storm in their 86-78 victory at home last February, scoring a career-high 44 on 16-of-23 shooting from the field to help send the game “over” a 150-point total.
This is just the second true road game for the Golden Eagles, and the first was a disaster at Indiana. Still, I’m willing to lay up to a bucket on Marquette for my free NCAA basketball pick.