NCAA Basketball Picks: St. Johns vs. Notre Dame

Joe Freda

Tuesday, March 5, 2013 3:43 PM UTC

Tuesday, Mar. 5, 2013 3:43 PM UTC

Will St. John’s cash again here, or will the emotions of senior night help the Irish cover as faves? Find out where we believe the best value lies for our NCAA Basketball picks in this matchup.

The St. John’s Red Storm have notched an 8-4 spread record in their last 12 games, including a 4-2 ATS mark in the span’s six road affairs. Tuesday’s slate has Steve Lavin’s squad visiting the No. 24 Notre Dame Fighting Irish, who play their final home game.

Check out my NCAA Basketball Picks: Marquette vs. Rutgers for another free play.

Irish, Grant shut down on the road

Notre Dame logged its second loss in four games with Saturday’s 72-64 setback to the Marquette Golden Eagles, falling short as an eight-point road dog. The Fighting Irish were held to 38.3 percent field shooting, while edging out Marquette in rebounds, 30-22. 

Fighting Irish guard Jerian Grant notched a team-high 21 points, while adding seven boards and five assists. Notre Dame’s Pat Connaughton and Jack Cooley were both held scoreless, shooting a combined 0-for-5 from the floor.

The battle’s 136 points jumped above the ‘total’ of 127, ending a 3-0 run for the UNDER in Notre Dame’s prior trio of matchups. Irish mates Eric Atkins and Zach Auguste notched three steals each, while forward Tom Knight came away with his squad’s sole two blocks. 

Red Storm outdueled in Providence

St. John’s came away with its latest cashed ticket in Saturday’s 62-59 defeat as a 6 ½-point road dog against the Providence Friars. Both squads shot below 38 percent from the field, with the Red Storm held to a 1-for-11 night from three-point land.

Red Storm freshman Jakarr Sampson equaled his season-high of 22 points, while uniting with Chris Obekpa for two blocks each. The duo’s mate Sir’Dominic Pointer notched his second double-double in three games, finishing with 13 points and 10 boards.

The tight affair’s combined 121 points dipped beneath the ‘total’ of 132, moving the UNDER to a 3-1 mark in the St. John’s last four games. Sampson and Co. hit 8-of-14 free throws, while being outrebounded, 41-33.


Back St. John’s on the road

The NCAA Basketball odds first opened Notre Dame as an 8 ½-point home favorite, while first listing the ‘total’ at 126. Early NCAAB betting on the Fighting Irish and the OVER drove both numbers north to nine and 126 ½, respectively.

For my NCAA Basketball picks I am taking the points here with St. John’s, looking for the another close contest between these Big East Conference foes. The last two meetings between these rivals were decided by four points or less, with the Red Storm cashing at 2-0 ATS as underdogs.

Obekpa has led the Big East in blocks (4 BPG), coming away with a pair of them in January’s 67-63 victory for St. John’s over the Irish in Madison Square Garden. The duel saw both squads held to a combined 4-for-26 mark from three-point land, while Red Storm mates Jakarr Sampson and Phil Green united for 30 points. 

Notre Dame is 2-5 ATS in its last seven home dates, with the Irish putting up just 60.2 PPG in their last five contests in South Bend that did not reach overtime. The revenge factor and the emotions of senior night have fueled the premium to be too high again here for Cooley and Co, while the underdog has collected with a 7-3 spread record in the last 10 clashes between these foes.

NCAA Basketball Pick: St. John’s Red Storm +9 (

For another take on this matchup check out our NCAA Basketball Picks of the Day.

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