Butler vs St. John's Prediction - Basketball Picks 3/8/23

St. John's Red Storm (17-14) vs Butler Bulldogs (14-17)

Game Info: Wednesday, March 8, 2023 at 3:00 pm (Madison Square Garden)

Betting Odds: St. John's Red Storm -6.5 -- Over/Under: 144 Click Here for the Latest Odds

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The Butler Bulldogs and the St. John’s Red Storm will meet in New York City to battle in the first round of the Big East Tournament on FS1. Butler leads the head-to-head series, 11-10, after winning the previous meeting by two points.

Butler closed at 14-17 after falling to Xavier in Cincinnati. The Bulldogs trailed the Musketeers by double figures at the break, and they’d end up losing by twelve, 78-66. Butler is scoring 66.5 points per game, while allowing 67.8 ppg, and shooting 44.2% from the floor.

Butler struggled again in conference play, and after dropping four of the last five games, they could be in for an early exit. The Bulldogs have struggled to score on a consistent basis, but Jayden Taylor came into his own during February. The sophomore guard has scored 19 points or more in five of the last seven games, and he leads Butler in scoring (13.2). Second-year swingman Simas Lukosius has reached double figures in six of their last nine games, and he’s averaging 11.2 ppg and a team-lead 3.0 apg. Senior center Manny Bates scored 15 points in the last meeting with SJU, and he leads the team in rebounding (5.5), while scoring 11.6 ppg.  

St. John’s finished at 17-14 after losing to Marquette in Milwaukee. The Red Storm nearly rallied back against the Golden Eagles, but they came up just short, 96-94. St. John’s scores 77.1 points per game, while allowing 75.0 ppg, and shooting 45.2% from the floor. 

St. John’s failed to capitalize on a hot start, but they will once again hold home court advantage with the Big East Tournament taking place at MSG. Yonkers product Joel Soriano has double-doubled in five of the last seven games, and he leads SJU in scoring (15.2) and rebounding (11.8). Former DePaul forward David Jones missed the two-point loss to Butler last month, but he’s second on the team at 13.1 ppg and 6.7 rpg. Junior guard Posh Alexander flirted with a triple-double in the last meeting with the Bulldogs, and he’s up to 10.3 and a team-lead 4.4 apg. 

Butler is 14-15-2 against the spread this season, with a 9-20-2 over/under record. St. John’s is 13-18 ATS this year, with a 16-14-1 o/u record.

St. John’s returns to the Mecca in a good spot to advance. The Red Storm carry advantages of home court, size and experience, and if they simply capitalize, they beat the Bulldogs here. SJU will also have some added motivation, as they look to avenge a two-point loss to Butler last month, and I like them coming through at MSG. Take St. John’s spread for this first round matchup.

Corey’s Pick St. John's -6.5

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The pick in this article is the opinion of the writer, not a PickDawgz site consensus.

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