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Big East Tournament Betting – Red Storm Rides Crowd To Big East Win At MSG

Posted by Washington Tucker on 2/6/2014 2:15:35 AM
  • What: College basketball betting
  • When: Begins Tuesday, March 8th, 12:00 PM ET
  • Where: Madison Square Garden, New York City, NY
  • Pick: St. John’s Red Storm

Online betting players have been watching an absolutely brutal Big East season, and it’s brutal in the sense that they’ve been beating up on each other to get to the top of the country’s best conference. The Big East could (and should) have 11 teams in the NCAA Tournament, and all of them will be on display, but we’re taking a team who has made a living of beating teams at Madison Square Garden, while giving the New York City fans something to cheer about.

College Basketball Betting: Pittsburgh (+200)

The Panthers won the regular-season title and the top seed in the conference, and they have been the best team in the nation’s toughest conference all season long. Pitt is efficient on both ends of the floor, shooting 47.2% from the field while holding the opposition to 39.6%, they’re second in the country in rebounding margin, and their assist-to-turnover ratio is seventh. Ashton Gibbs is their scoring leader, but Brad Wanamaker can carry the team, Gilbert Brown is capable of getting hot, while Nasir Robinson and Gary McGhee give the Panthers an inside presence. The Panthers are a threat to cut down the nets in Houston.

College Basketball Betting: Notre Dame (+200)

But the Fighting Irish aren’t far behind, coming in one spot behind Pitt in the final regular-season top 25. Notre Dame lives and dies by the three-pointer, where they make 8.1 per game at a 39.2% clip, powered by the trio of Ben Hansbrough, Tim Abromaitis and Carlton Scott. The Fighting Irish are also great on the glass, at the foul line, and they take care of the ball. But we’re always skeptical of a team that depends on the long-range shot so much, because if it’s not falling, things get far more difficult. Ironically, their big weakness on defense comes in defending the three-point shot, so that could play a role.

College Basketball Betting: Syracuse (+300)

The Orangemen stormed out of the game, struggled in midseason and when everyone counted them out, Syracuse won five straight to snag a fourth seed and the last double bye in the Big East tournament, which they’ve won five times. As their 2-3 zone goes, the Orangemen go and when it’s going, there aren’t many tougher teams to score on as Syracuse is eighth in field-goal defense. They have long, athletic wing players like Kris Joseph to challenge the three-point shooters, but they can also get back in the post, where they are second in the country in blocks. They also have a guard in Scoop Jardine who has made a few big shots down the stretch.

College Basketball Betting: Louisville (+475)

The Cardinals also grabbed a double bye, winning four of their last five games, and they like to play an uptempo game at both ends of the floor. They run a perimeter-based offense with Preston Knowles, Kyle Kuric and Peyton Siva, but they’re not as good as the rest of the Big East in terms of rebounding. The game slows down in the postseason, and the Cardinals have to figure out how to play that type of game. They’re going to need more out of forward Terrence Jennings to control the game in the post if the Cardinals want to win their first Big East tournament since 2009.

College Basketball Betting: St. John’s (+650)

The Red Storm get a bye, and they’re the x-factor in this tournament given their success at Madison Square Garden, where they made a habit of beating big teams all season. Dwight Hardy has probably been the best player in the conference over the second half of the Big East schedule, while Justin Brown and D.J. Kennedy gives the Red Storm the ability to bang down low. The Red Storm are a team loaded with seniors who won’t be nervous by the big stage, even though they’ve lost in the first round in the last two years of the Big East tournament.

College Basketball Betting: The Rest

Honestly, you could take West Virginia at +1000, Georgetown at the same price and Connecticut at +1800, and have a legitimate shot to win the Big East tournament. The Mountaineers may not have the scoring, but they can defend as well as anyone in the conference. Georgetown has lost four of their last five, and the loss of senior guard Chris Wright to a broken hand can’t be underestimated. UConn is too dependent on Kemba Walker for scoring, and the rest of their guards are still inexperienced.

College Basketball Betting: Outlook And Pick

We’re taking St. John’s to win their first Big East tournament since 2000, which would give them four, just because they’ve been so good at the Garden this season. Pitt has been the most consistent, but they’ve fallen at the Garden to St. John’s. Notre Dame also lost at the Garden, but Syracuse did manage to beat the Red Storm by 17 at MSG back in January. The Red Storm may have to go through Pitt and Syracuse to get to the final, while the other side of the bracket is just as tough, although we’re taking Notre Dame to the final. Due to the “home court” advantage, we’re going with St. John’s in our sports betting picks.

College Basketball Betting Pick: St. John’s Red Storm

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