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Pick on the spread for St. John’s-Marquette on March 9

VSiN’s Greg Peterson goes over the best betting options for Thursday’s college basketball matchup between the St. John’s Red Storm and Marquette Golden Eagles.

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NCAA Basketball: Big East Conference Tournament First Round - St. John’s vs Butler Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Dubbed by some as the world’s most famous arena, the St. John’s Red Storm will take on the Marquette Golden Eagles from Madison Square Garden on Thursday.

St. John’s Red Storm vs. Marquette Golden Eagles (-8, 161.5)

It’s been less than seven days since these two teams last faced with the Golden Eagles surviving a late game surge from the Red Storm to secure a 96-94 home win on Mar. 4 to close out the regular season.

St. John’s entered the Big East Tournament ranked 127th in the nation in points allowed on a per-possession basis while Marquette is ranked 114th. However, St. John’s allows 9.3 points fewer per 100 possessions in home games than playing on the road.

Across both meetings this season, the Golden Eagles have shot 20-of-43 from 3-point range, a percentage expected to regress heavily considering the Red Storm have allowed opponents to shoot just 33% from 3-point range. Overall, Marquette ranks 281st in opponent 3-point shooting percentage.

The top rebounder in this game is on St. John’s side with Joel Soriano ranking fourth among qualifying Division I players in rebounds per game with 11.9 per game. He also averages 15.2 points and 1.3 blocks per game.

While Marquette excelled in 3-point shooting in the past meetings, St. John’s dominated the boards by grabbing 12 more rebounds. Marquette has just one player on its roster that averages at least 5.0 rebounds per game and as a squad, ranks just 302nd in the nation in rebound rate.

Of all the conference tournaments still being played, St. John’s is one of three teams to have played at least three games in a tournament that is not structured to award home-court advantage to the lower seed.

When Marquette went on the road in January and defeated St. John’s 96-85, the game was played at Carnasecca Arena. Although it is officially listed as a neutral court tilt, Madison Square Garden will certainly provide the home court advantage for the Red Storm and they’ll reward their fans with an effort similar to the one on Mar. 4, when they fought to the bitter end and nearly sprung an upset.

The Play: St. John’s +8

Get Peterson’s spread and total lines for every game on the college basketball board.

Check out the DraftKings college basketball betting splits with public money and betting percentages.