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The St. John's Red Storm will host one of the nation’s hottest teams, the Seton Hall Pirates on Saturday, at Madison Square Garden. Seton Hall sits alone in first place in the Big East with a 5-0 record to start the season for the first time in school history. St. John’s is 1-4 in the conference.
Best start in Big East in school historyThe Seton Hall Pirates have won seven straight games and sit alone at 5-0 in the Big East. Wednesday night Seton Hall came back from a 10 point half-time deficit to pull out a 78-70 win against Butler. Four players led the Pirates comeback win by reaching double figures in scoring, led by Myles Powell, who had 29 points and seven rebounds. Romaro Gill added 17 points, Jared Rhoden scored 13 points and grabbed eight rebounds, and Quincy McKnight had an excellent all-around game with 13 points, 11 assists, and seven rebounds.
Powell, a 6'2 senior guard, is the second-leading scorer in the Big East, averaging 22 points per game.
As a team, Seton Hall averages 75.2 points per game, which is the 97th highest total in the country. Defensively, Seton Hall is holding opponents to 64.4 points per game on 38.6% shooting from the field and 30.3% on three-point field goals. The Pirates are also averaging 8.1 steals per game against Divison I opponents, which ranks among the nation's top 50.
Wins hard to come by in Big EastAfter starting the season 11-2 in non-conference play, including wins over West Virginia and Arizona, the St. John's Red Storm are just 1-4 against some very good Big East competition. St. John’s is coming off a 63-58 loss at Providence on Wednesday. LJ Figueroa led the Red Storm with 12 points and nine rebounds, but also only shot 4 of 17 (23%) from the field and 2 of 12 (17%) from three-point range.
Figueroa leads the team in scoring with 14.8 points per game on the season, followed by Mustapha Heron, who adds 13.9 points per contest.
As a team, St. John's is averaging 75.6 points per game, which is the 89th highest total in the country, despite only ranking 304th in shooting percentage at 41.1% and 331st from three-point range at 28.9%. The Red Storm play at the 10th fastest pace in the country with almost 78 possessions per game and lead the nation with 10.6 steals per contest against Divison I opponents. The St. John's defense is holding opponents to 67.8 points a game, on 39.1% shooting for the field and 31.1% from three-point range.
- Pirates are 16-5 ATS in their last 21 games following an ATS win.
- Pirates are 6-2 ATS in their last 8 road games vs. a team with a winning home record.
- Pirates are 7-0 is last 7 games overall
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
St. John's is the home team since the game will be played at Madison Square Garden, but Seton Hall only has about 17 miles to travel, opposed to about 12 miles for St. John's. I don't expect a considerable homecourt advantage here.
The Pirates have won seven straight games, and even more impressively, have covered the spread in each of those games. St. John's is a capable team that has endured some tough losses in Big East play. Overall, Seton Hall has the athletes to run and score against the Red Storm's defensive pressure. I expect the Red Storm to compete, but they don't have the shooters to outscore and take down this Seton Hall team right now.
Prediction: Seton Hall
Full-Game Total Pick
Both teams are solid defensively, but the Pirates have more offensive potential. Seton Hall is coming off of a 78 point offensive output against the Butler Bulldogs who had not allowed more than 67 points in a single game all season. I am going to take the over on anything up to 142.5 points in this game, and under 143 points.