St. John's NCAA Basketball is 9-1 in its last 10 meetings with DePaul, 7-3 against the betting odds spreads, but it's the Blue Demons who are only a game out of first place in the Big East at the moment.
Red Storm-Blue Demons Betting Odds
Most of the college basketball betting market opened St. John's at right around -5.5 for this game, with an OVER/UNDER of 146.5. Those numbers were holding in the early betting.
Those who think DePaul might pull an upset here could get +209 on the moneyline at Pinnacle.
St. John's returned three starters this season from a team that went 20-13 last year, and had hopes of returning to the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2011. The Storm went 11-1 through its non-conference schedule, with wins over Minnesota, Syracuse and St. Mary's, the only loss coming against Gonzaga. But they then began conference play by losing their first three contests, to Seton Hall, Butler and Villanova. St. John's then got off the schnide last time out with a 83-70 victory at Providence.
The Storm was making money, going 6-2-1 ATS through their first nine lined games, but then lost ATS as a two-point favorite to the Pirates, lost ATS as a four-point favorite against the Bulldogs and whiffed ATS as four-point dogs against the Wildcats, before winning straight-up Wednesday night as three-point underdogs.
St John's shot 51 percent from the field Wednesday, made 10 of 17 shots from 3-point range and limited the Friars to 40 percent shooting.
On the homey side of this match-up DePaul returned just two starters from a team that went 12-21 last season. Based on that alone we figured the Blue Demons would finish near the bottom in the new Big East this season.
DePaul started 6-1 this season, with a win over Stanford, but then lost six in a row to finish its non-con schedule at 6-7. But the Demons then won their first three Big East games, beating Marquette as five-point dogs, winning at Xavier as 11-point dogs and at Creighton as 10-point dogs. DePaul then lost 81-64 at Villanova but back-doored a cover at +21, and last time out, last Saturday, the Demons lost at home to Georgetown 78-72 but covered at +7.
DePaul started 4-2 ATS this season, then went 0-6 ATS, but is now 5-0 ATS over its last five games.
Storm-Demons Recent History
These teams split two games last season, each winning at home, but DePaul covered both games. The Blue Demons won the first encounter outright 77-75 as three-point home dogs, then lost at MSG six weeks later 72-64 but covered as 14-point dogs on the road.
Keep in mind before placing your NCAA Basketball pick here that going back to the season previous DePaul has covered three meetings in a row with St. John's.
Storm-Demons Key Stats
St. John's is shooting 45 percent from the floor this season, and holding opponents to 39 percent FG shooting; DePaul is shooting 45 percent from the floor, and 75 percent from the free-throw line, which is very good for a college team, but allowing opponents to shoot 46 percent.
Storm-Demons Betting Trends
St. John's is 5-7 on the totals this season, as Storm games have averaged 135 points. St John's began this season by playing seven UNDERS in eight games, but now they've played five OVERS in a row. It looks like the Storm is being tagged with some (relatively) low totals, in the 130 range, but they've allowed 78 points per game over their last four games.
DePaul is 10-5 on the totals, as Demons games have averaged 147 points.
DePaul is 3-1 SU and 4-0 ATS this season as a home dog.
Storm-Demons Free Pick
On the surface DePaul doesn't impress, but it can throw the ball in the hole at a decent rate, and it's been a solid home dog as of late. If they play a little defense the Demons could win this one outright. We'll go with the home underdog in NCAA Basketball odds in this spot.
Free NCAA Basketball Pick: DePaul +6 at Pinnacle