Butler vs. St. John’s NCAA Basketball Odds, Preview and Prediction

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Simas Lukosius #41 of the Butler Bulldogs. David Becker/Getty Images/AFP

Editor’s note: This game was canceled due to positive COVID-19 cases in St. John’s

Virus issues have hit the Big East pretty hard in the last week, but the Butler Bulldogs and St. John’s Red Storm will have a go at it Thursday to give us other online sports betting option to ponder and play. 

Butler Bulldogs vs. St. John’s Red Storm

Thursday, December 23, 2021 – 06:30 PM EST at Carnesecca Arena 

The early Big East schedule has already seen three games canceled and entered into the NCAAB scorebook as forfeits, St. John’s a recipient of one of those ‘victories’ when Seton Hall had to bow out of the Red Storm’s original conference opener a few days ago. Butler has avoided disappointment as far as cancellations go, and the Bulldogs will be playing their first league game with this trip to Queens.

Georgetown was forced to cancel its game on Wednesday at Providence, with the Friars picking up the sweatless dubya in that one. Seton Hall is 1-1 in the conference standings without playing a game after the Pirates forfeited to St. John’s on Monday then picked up the default win for Thursday’s clash with DePaul after the Blue Demons hit the COVID-19 list. 

‘Under’ Has Turned a Profit in Butler Games

The normally intimate Carnesecca Arena has been filling to about half-capacity even with the rigid restrictions caused by the pandemic, and the FS1 provides the broadcast for those of us lounging freely in our homes. There hasn’t been any movement at the top-rated sportsbooks since St. John’s was opened at -6, and the total is 135-135½. 

Butler has been a strong fade in the early going with just two covers in its first nine lined games, and the Bulldogs were no match at all their last time out against a strong Purdue team in the Crossroads Classic. The in-state rivals met last Saturday in Indianapolis where the Boilermakers dismantled Butler in a 77-48 blowout. 

Favored by 16 in the contest, Purdue went on a 25-8 run over the final 10 minutes or so of the first half to take control of the game. The Boilermakers also sank 11-of-22 from 3-point range while Butler was a pathetic 4-for-28. The cold shooting by the Bulldogs kept the game ‘under’ the college basketball odds, and that’s one facet of the game they’ve turned a profit with eight of nine lined affairs coming up short. 

Storm Also Have Been a Bad Bet 

Picking up a forfeit in what was supposed to be a road game at Seton Hall on Monday could ultimately help the Red Storm in the Big East race. St. John’s find three of its next four games at home, with a week off after this collision with Butler before Marquette comes to New York. St. John’s has won eight of 10 games played in the Big Apple this season and is 10-2 in New York going back to last season. 

One of the two home losses came last Saturday to Pittsburgh over at Madison Square Garden in the Gotham Classic. The Panthers won the defensive struggle 59-57 on a buzzer-beater, pulling off the upset as 11-point underdogs at GTbets (visit our GTbets Review).

That loss snapped a 3-game win streak for St. John’s and continued a bad run at the window for Red Storm backers who have been left holding losing tickets seven of the last eight matchups. The Red Storm played without Julian Champagnie, who leads the team scoring better than 20 points a game and is questionable on Thursday after a positive virus test. 

Homes Teams Have Won Seven of Last Eight Meetings 

Before Butler joined the Big East in 2013, the Bulldogs and Red Storm only met one time, and that was in the opening round of the 1958 NIT. St. John’s won that matchup, 76-69, and then swept the first two meetings during the 2013-14 season. Butler has won 10 of the 14 encounters since then

The teams split their two meetings a season ago, each winning on their home floors to continue that trend in the series. In the game at Carnesecca Arena, the Red Storm led wire-to-wire in a 69-57 final that closed with St. John’s in the role of small home chalk. The result fell well short of a 142½-point total, leaving ‘under’ bettors 3-1 in the last four hosted by the Red Storm. 

It's difficult to have much faith in a college basketball pick on either side right now, so I’ll be riding the trend for Butler games this season and the recent trend in matchups between the Bulldogs and Red Storm. 

NCAAB Pick: Under 135½ (-108) with Bovada (visit our Bovada Review)

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Under 135½ (-108)
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*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.