DePaul vs. St. John's Prediction and Odds for Big East Tournament First Round (Blue Demons Cover With High Score)

Javon Freeman-Liberty is on fire as he leads DePaul against St. John's in the Big East Tournament today
Javon Freeman-Liberty is on fire as he leads DePaul against St. John's in the Big East Tournament today / Quinn Harris/GettyImages

The Big East Tournament gets going today as the #10 DePaul Blue Demons face the #7 St. John's Red Storm in the first round at 7:00 PM EST.

Javon Freeman-Liberty of DePaul exploded for 39 points in a win over the Red Storm two weeks ago, though St. John's nabbed an 89-84 win over the Blue Demons back in January.

DePaul is absolutely rolling, covering the spread in five straight and posting a 9-2 against the spread (ATS) mark over their last 11. St. John's, meanwhile, has only covered once in their last four matchups but went 5-0-1 ATS prior to this skid.

Neither team is projected to make the NCAA Tournament with an at-large bid, so they're fighting for their seasons in the Big East Tournament.

Does value lie with St. John's to get a bounce-back victory or will DePaul's high-powered offense prove too much to handle?

Let's check out the odds via WynnBET to decipher this puzzle:

DePaul vs St. John's Odds, Spread and Total


  • DePaul: +5 (-110)
  • St. John's: -5 (-110)


  • DePaul: +175
  • St. John's: -215


  • 154.5 (Over -110/Under -110)

DePaul vs St. John's Prediction and Pick

It's a shame DePaul isn't in line for an at-large bid because Javon Freeman-Liberty was built for March. After returning from a groin injury, he's been nails. The senior guard out of Chicago has scored at least 22 points in five straight and the Blue Demons have covered in all five.

Both teams play at a frenetic pace, with DePaul ranking in the 99th percentile over their last five games and St. John's in the 100th. St. John's has the deeper team and better offense overall, but sometimes all you need is the best player on the court and Freeman-Liberty just might be that.

There's a few key advantages that point me to DePaul in this matchup. First, they're in the 100th percentile in free throw attempts per game over their last five while St. John's is in the 6th. Second, the Red Storm rank 302nd nationally in defensive rebounding rate while the Blue Demons are in the 80th percentile in offensive rebounding on the year. Free throws and second-chance points are crucial in a tournament atmosphere and DePaul has a leg-up in those categories.

I'm not betting against the Blue Demons - they're simply a different team with a healthy Freeman-Liberty and think they move to 21-10 ATS on the year.

I also see value on the over, however. 173 points were scored in the first matchup and 194 were scored in the second. We've got plenty of wiggle-room with the number and it's clear these teams can't stop each other. The over is 6-1 in St. John's last seven and with both squads playing at such a fast pace, I expect another high-scoring affair.

Pick: DePaul +5 (-110) and over 154.5 (-110)

Follow all of Joe Summers' betting picks here.