Providence vs. St. John's Prediction and Odds (Friars Undervalued)

Providence Friars center Nate Watson.
Providence Friars center Nate Watson. / Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

Providence is a team nobody is talking about. 18-2 on the year and first in the Big East, but the underlying metrics still have the Friars as a middle of the road team in the grand scheme of things.

Take for the spread in tonight's game against middling Big East foe St. John's with Providence being lined as short underdogs. Should they be getting more respect in the betting market? Or are the Friars on the right side of some positive late game variance? Here are the odds from WynnBET Sportsbook:

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


  • Providence: +2.5 (-110)
  • St. John's: -2.5 (-110)


  • Providence: +125
  • St. John's: -145

Total: 146.5 (Over -110/Under -110

Providence vs. St. John's Prediction and Pick

Despite the sterling record, KenPom is not impressed. The website ranks Providence 48th in the country albeit a balanced 56 offensive effiiciency ranking and 55th defensive mark. The team plays inside with Nate Watson to offset the loss of guard A.J. Reeves, generating a top 15 free throw rate.

Like KenPom, ShotQuality is also not enthused with the upside of the Friars. Based on their shot profile, the team looks more like an 11-8 team moreso than a 18-2 team. So, will the Red Storm be the team to knock them from their post atop the Big East?

I'm not so sure. The Johnnies love to force turnovers to kick start their offense, as evident in the national best potential quick points off breakaway steals per 100 possessions, per Haslemetrics. However, the Friars are top 100 in limiting those opportunities and should be able to make this into a more half-court oriented game.

St. John's fouls at a high rate and also is bottom 20 on the defensive glass. When factoring in that the team is shooting below 66% as a team this season, the Friars may be live to win this one.

I'm not rushing to step in front of Providence with a team that struggles to execute on the margins like St. John's, but I do believe that there is some harsh regression coming for Ed Cooley's bunch in the next few weeks.

LEAN: Providence +2.5

All of Reed's college basketball plays can be tracked here, his best bets column for college basketball is 38-37-3 for -1.53 units.