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How and what to watch for No. 3 Villanova vs. St. John’s

The Cats look to stay on top of the Big East in a game where tempo should determine the winner.

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Villanova Wildcats guard Justin Moore dribbles past Seton Hall Pirates guard Shavar Reynolds during the second half at Prudential Center. Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

The Villanova Wildcats are the third-best team in the AP Poll, but still have plenty to prove as they head to New York City to face St. John’s in a Big East battle.

VU (11-1, 6-0 Big East) battled through some early season COVID-19 issues to reach the top three, and has a senior with a national championship in Collin Gillespie (15.5 points, 4.7 assists per game) at point guard. The Cats are the fourth-most adjusted efficient offense in the NCAA, but also play with one of the slowest paces in college basketball at just 64.8 possessions per game thanks to Jay Wright’s “burn” offense. But that also limits giveaways, as the team from Radnor turns it over on just 12.3% of possessions, the best ratio in America.

St. John’s plays through Julian Champaigne, who is averaging 19.8 points per game for the Red Storm while his brother Justin gets 20.1 per at Pitt. The Red Storm (11-7, 5-6 Big East) try to run under Nolan Richardson disciple Mike Anderson, averaging 73.7 possessions per game. This will be a game won by the team that can force the most tempo.

Game Time/TV Channel/Streaming

You can watch Villanova vs. St. John’s on Wednesday, February 3rd at 9:00 p.m. ET on CBS Sports Network, or you can stream it via the CBS Sports app with a cable or streaming service login. If you don’t have a cable login to access the CBS Sports app, you can get a free trial from YouTube TV, Hulu with Live TV, AT&T TV Now, FuboTV, or Sling TV to stream it.

Point Spread, Totals, Odds, Trends

Point spread: Villanova -9
Point Total: 153
Money line: Villanova -480, St. John’s +350

  • The over is 7-5 for Villanova, and 11-7 for St. John’s this year
  • VU is 8-4 ATS with St. John’s 10-8

The Best Bet

Gillespie and Villanova just handle the ball too well to be separated from it as much as St. John’s would like. Look for a quicker pace, but plenty of easy baskets for VU.

Pick: Over 153

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