The No. 1 UConn Huskies face the St. John’s Red Storm in a Big East matchup on Saturday, February 3. Tip-off is scheduled for noon ET from Queens, NY, and the game will air on Fox.
Let’s take a look at the odds and lines on DraftKings Sportsbook and make some picks.
UConn vs. St. John’s odds
Spread: UConn -4
Moneyline: UConn -198, St. John’s +164
UConn (19-2, 9-1 Big East) enters this matchup as the top-ranked team in the nation. The Huskies have earned wins over Creighton and UNC this season, and their two losses have come at the hands of Kansas and Seton Hall. We can expect the Red Storm to study up on the Seton Hall tape this week and emulate that as they host the Huskies. UConn was soundly outscored in field goals and the Pirates held them to 19% from the perimeter in that loss.
The Huskies rank third overall and in adjusted offensive efficiency at KenPom. They don’t crack the top 20 in points scored per game, but they control their possessions and shoot 59.5% from the two-point range (5th in the nation) and average 17.9 assists per game (12th in the nation).
All five of the Huskies’ starters average in the double digits in scoring. Cam Spencer, Tristen Newton, and Alex Karaban (who is questionable with an injury vs. St. John’s) all add over 14 points per game on average, with Newton leading the way at 15.8 points per game. He is the key to it all, leading the team in rebounds (6.6) and assists (5.7) as well. Stephon Castle added a team-high 20 points in their latest win over Providence.
St. John’s (13-8, 5-5 Big East) has lost four of their last five games leading up to this. They started the season strong, but fell to Xavier, Marquette, Seton Hall, and Creighton in a tough conference stretch. A 20-point win over Villanova is the sole bright spot as of late.
The Red Storm ranks 36th overall at KenPom and sits in the top 50 in both adjusted offensive and defensive efficiency. The last time they faced UConn, the Red Storm kept the Huskies within four points on the road, and they have had this date circled on their calendars since that heartbreaking loss.
St. John’s grabs 39.9 rebounds per game, ranking 15th in the nation, and they rank fourth in offensive rebounds with 13.2 per game. They record 5.3 blocks per game (15th in the nation) and hold opponents to 41.8% shooting per game (66th in the nation). Center Joel Soriao leads the Red Storm with 16.6 points and 10 rebounds per game on average. Daniss Jenkins adds 13.6 points and 5.6 assists per game. The two combined for 27 points in their earlier game against UConn.
The Pick: St. John’s +4
The Red Storm held UConn within four on the road. With a sold-out crowd and a shot at avenging their earlier close loss, I like St. John’s to keep this one close against a UConn team that struggled on the road against a mediocre Seton Hall.