UCF vs. St. John's - 11/26/17 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction
St. John's Red Storm (5-1) at UCF Knights (4-1)
College Basketball: Sunday, November 26, 2017 at 12:00 pm (HP Field House)
The Line: UCF Knights +1.5 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds
TV: ESPN U
The St. John’s Red Storm and UCF Knights will square off in the Advocare Invitational at HP Field House this Sunday afternoon in College Basketball action.
The St. John’s Red Storm lost their first game of the season, dropping to 5-1 on the year, after being defeated by the Missouri Tigers, 90-82, this past Friday. St. John’s fought back from a 15-point 1st half deficit to take a 69-66 lead with 6:28 remaining, however, couldn’t securing the victory after a 17-6 run gave Missouri an 83-75 lead with just 1:56 left in the game. St. John’s allowed Missouri to shoot 51.9% (14-27) from beyond the arc and was outrebounded by the Tigers by a 41-27 margin. Leading the way for the Red Storm was Shamorie Ponds who had 31 points, 5 rebounds, and 7 assists. On the season, St. John’s is averaging 78.5 ppg on 43.1% shooting from the field. The Red Storm are averaging 7.8 three-pointers per game on 36.2% shooting from beyond the arc. Offensively, St. John’s has been led by Shamorie Ponds (21.0 ppg, 6.2 rpg, 4.8 apg, 1.5 spg), Marcus LoVett (15.3 ppg, 2.2 rpg, 1.8 apg, 2.2 spg), Bashir Ahmed (12.8 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 1.2 spg), and Justin Simon (9.3 ppg, 8.8 rpg, 4.3 apg, 3.2 spg). Defensively, St. John’s is holding their opponents to an average of 63.7 ppg on 38.2% shooting from the field. The Red Storm have a rebound margin of -0.8 and a turnover margin of 8.8.
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The UCF Knights dropped to 4-1 on the season after being defeated by the 23rd ranked West Virginia Mountaineers, 83-45, this past Friday. UCF had no answers for the West Virginia defense throughout the game and couldn’t fight back after falling behind by a 43-20 margin at halftime. UCF shot just 24.5% from the field and committed 27 turnovers in the loss. Leading the way for the Knights was Tacko Fall who had 11 points, 8 rebounds, and a block. On the season, UCF is averaging 68.8 ppg on 43.2% shooting from the field. The Knights are averaging 3.4 three-pointers per game on 24.3% shooting from beyond the arc. Offensively, UCF has been led by B.J. Taylor (12.0 ppg, 1.0 rpg, 4.0 apg), Tacko Fall (11.7 ppg, 7.7 rpg, 2.0 bpg), A.J. Davis (11.0 ppg, 11.2 rpg, 3.0 apg, 1.2 bpg), and Ceasar DeJesus (10.8 ppg, 2.2 rpg, 1.4 apg, 1.4 spg). Defensively, UCF is allowing their opponents to average 70.0 ppg on 38.5% shooting from the field. The Knights have a rebound margin of 4.6 and a turnover margin of -4.8.
The Red Storm are 6-2 ATS in their last 8 games following a straight up loss however, just 1-5 ATS in their last 6 neutral site games. The Knights are 6-0 ATS in their last 6 games following a ATS loss and 9-4 ATS in their last 13 neutral site games.
St. John’s couldn’t pull out a victory over Missouri however, the Red Storm have had a solid start to their season and has been led defensively as St. John’s ranks T-48th in scoring defense, 50th in defensive FG%, and 3rd in turnover margin. UCF is a defensive minded team, however, the Knights have really struggled on the offensive end without B.J. Taylor, who out until late December due to injury, as UCF ranks 281st in scoring offense, 228th in FG%, and 344thin 3P-FG%. St. John’s has done a great job of creating turnovers so far this season and as I just don’t see the UCF offense doing enough in this one, I’m taking St. John’s to cover this small spread.