Villanova vs. St. John’s Prediction, Odds and Key Players for Wednesday, Jan. 24 (Red Storm bounce back at MSG)

College basketball betting preview, prediction and best bets for Villanova-St. John’s.

Jan 13, 2024; Omaha, Nebraska, USA;  St. John's Red Storm head coach Rick Pitino watches action against Creighton.
Jan 13, 2024; Omaha, Nebraska, USA; St. John's Red Storm head coach Rick Pitino watches action against Creighton. / Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

Both teams are desperate for a Big East victory going into this matchup at Madison Square Garden. Villanova battled an injury to its star player, but have lost three of four after starting 3-0 in league play. Two of those losses were by double digits, including a 10-point home defeat to St. John’s on Jan. 6 and a 13-point defeat at Marquette Jan. 15.

St. John’s is 4-4 in the Big East but the Red Storm have dropped some close contests and could be near the top of the league standings if a few more bounces go their way.

St. John’s is coming off a one-point loss to Marquette and will try to get back on track during a stretch where they play four of five games at home.

Here’s the betting preview for Wednesday’s matchup in Manhattan with a best bet.

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Villanova vs. St. John’s odds, spread and total

Villanova vs. St. John’s betting trends

  • Villanova is 10-8 ATS this season
  • St. John’s is 10-9 ATS this season
  • Villanova is 3-1 ATS as an underdog this season
  • St. John’s is 6-8 ATS as a favorite this season
  • The OVER is 8-10 in Villanova games this season
  • The OVER is 10-8-1 in St. John’s games this season 

Villanova vs. St. John’s how to watch

  • Date: Wednesday, Jan. 24
  • Game time: 8:30 p.m. EST
  • Venue: Madison Square Garden
  • How to watch (TV): FS1
  • Villanova record: 11-7 (4-3 Big East)
  • St. John’s record: 12-7 (4-4 Big East)

Villanova vs. St. John’s key players to watch


Justin Moore: The senior guard recently returned from a knee injury suffered in early December caused him to miss five games and the start of Big East play. Villanova was able to work Moore back into the mix against DePaul (2 points in 23 minutes), but Moore has played 30 minutes in each of the last two games. Against UConn’s elite defense, Moore was 7-of-9 from the field for a team-high 15 points to go with five rebounds in a one-point loss. Moore missed Villanova’s 81-71 loss to St. John’s Jan. 6. 

St. John’s

Joel Soriano: In his third season with the Red Storm, Soriano is putting up potential Big East Player of the Year numbers. He ranks 10th in the Big East in scoring (16.1 points per game), third in field goal percentage (62.3%) and is No. 1 in the conference in rebounding (9.7). Soriano was dominant in St. John’s first matchup against Villanova, pouring in 20 points on 7-of-10 shooting and grabbing 8 rebounds. 

Villanova vs. St. John’s prediction and pick

In the last three games, St. John’s has slid to the middle of the pack in the Big East after losing by a point at Creighton and at home to Marquette. The Red Storm lost by 15 at Seton Hall, but head coach Rick Pitino had to miss the game after getting COVID. 

St. John’s is desperate and has the No. 42 offense and No. 51 defense in KenPom to turn it around Wednesday night at MSG. The Red Storm have the advantage on the glass, ranking No. 5 in offensive rebounding percentage and should be able to create momentum-turning second-chance opportunities if their shooting struggles persist.

St. John’s will try to get Villanova on the run. The Red Storm rank No. 86 in tempo and Villanova is No. 316. Villanova’s offense is not equipped to compete in a track meet.

Aside from the tempo factor and the No. 312 average length of possession (18.6 seconds), the Wildcats are just No. 184 in effective field goal range and are just inside the top-200 in shooting from inside and beyond the arc. 

Two weeks ago, St. John’s was trending toward the potential No. 1 seed in the Big East Tournament. They are still that team, turning it around in a big way in the first year of the Pitino era. Lay the short number. 

Game odds update periodically and are subject to change.