Creighton vs St John’s Picks and Odds

Creighton Bluejays guard Marcus Zegarowski dribbling

Creighton guard Marcus Zegarowski remains an outside contender for National Player of the Year. (Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire)
  • #9 Creighton and St. John’s are both looking for their first Big East conference victory on Thursday, Dec. 17, at 7:00 PM ET
  • The over is 10-4 combined so far for the Bluejays and Red Storm
  • The odds for the game, as well as matchup analysis and a pick, can be found in the article below.

On Thursday night in New York City, somebody is going to get their first Big East conference win of the season. It’ll either be #9 Creighton (4-2) or host St. John’s (5-3) in the 7:00 PM ET matchup taking place at Carnesecca Arena.

The Bluejays and Red Storm have both played some quality opponents so far, but the results haven’t been good — combined, they are 1-5 against teams ranked inside KenPom’s top 100. The Bluejays head into Thursday’s game as 5.5-point road favorites.

#9 Creighton vs St. John’s Odds

Team Moneyline Point Spread Over/Under Total
#9 Creighton -255 -5.5 (-114) Over 160.5 (-105)
St. John’s +210 +5.5 (-106) Under 160.5 (-115)

Odds as of Dec. 16.

How They’ve Fared So Far

Creighton is currently in a situation where it has quality losses but no quality wins. The Bluejays lost to No. 5 Kansas last week and Marquette (33rd in KenPom’s rankings) on Monday. To be fair, though, those losses came by a total of six points. If a couple of bounces had gone differently, we could be talking about a 6-0 juggernaut here.

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Take Monday’s game, for example. Creighton dropped an 89-84 game to the Golden Eagles despite leading for nearly all of the first 25 minutes. At one point, their win probability, per KenPom, was 92.8 percent. But Marquette got hot from 3-pt. range, shooting 12-for-21 (57.1 percent) and that was the difference maker down the stretch.

The Bluejays’ best win came against Nebraska (4-3, 117th in KenPom), a 24-point mugging in which Creighton forced 25 turnovers.

St. John’s has dropped its past two games to begin Big East play, losing at Seton Hall and at Georgetown (in overtime). Now they’re at home, where they’ve won seven in a row dating back to last season.

The Red Storm has the lone KenPom top 100 win between these two schools, beating Boston College (98th), 97-93. It was one of four games this season in which they’ve obliterated their over/under by at least 10 points.

2021 Naismith College Basketball Player of the Year Odds Tracker

ATS Analysis

Creighton is 3-3 against the spread this year, but they’re coming off their biggest ATS loss of the season — failing to cover an 8.5-point spread in their straight up loss to Marquette. Prior to that, they earned ATS wins in three of four games and will look to get back to that kind of rhythm.

A stronger trend exists with the point total, which has seen the over hit in four of the past five Creighton games. The Bluejays are top 10 in NCAA Division I in adjusted offensive efficiency, effective field goal percentage and 2-pt. percentage. They know how to fill the basket.

St. John’s is 3-5 against the spread, having dropped three in a row and four of five. Three of those recent ATS losses, though, came by fewer than five points.

As with Creighton, St. John’s is a team that can run up a score. They’ve seen the over hit in three of their past four games, and have helped push three point totals more than 10 points past their projected mark this season. Part of this is attributed to the Red Storm’s lightning quick tempo (11th in D-I) and their 14.2-second average possession length (11th in D-I).

Head-to-Head Matchup

In the past two seasons, St. John’s has won three of the four matchups — straight up and ATS. Looking just at last year, these teams split their games and both cleared the over/under with ease.
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We feel good about riding the over again, though the winner of this game feels like a bit of a toss up. We’ll ride with the favored Bluejays on the moneyline, which parlayed with the over could make for a decent value.

Pick: Creighton -5.5 (-114); Over 160.5 (-105)

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