St. John’s Red Storm at No. 1 Kentucky Wildcats
Thursday, 12/1/11, 7:30 PM EST, TV: ESPN2
Opening Point Spread: Kentucky -23
Current Betting Line: Kentucky -21.5
Opening Total: 140.5
Current Total: 143.5
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker
St. John’s is set to visit Rupp Arena and take on the top-ranked team in the country, coming off a 78-64 loss to Northeastern as 9.5-point home favorites, while going over the posted total of 135.5. The Red Storm will be without head coach Steve Lavin, who has missed the last two games due to recovering from prostate cancer surgery. “I’m cancer free, but now recognize I set myself back with a premature return to the sidelines,” stated Lavin in practice this week. The program will be looking to knock off the No. 1 team for the sixth time in his history, playing its third ranked opponent in the young 2011-12 campaign. St. John’s is 12-12 ATS on the road the last two-plus years.
The Red Storm is 5-10 all-time against the Wildcats, tallying a 62-61 victory in the last meeting on Nov. 9, 2000. St. John’s has four players averaging in double figures, led by sophomore guard Nurideen Lindsey, who is averaging 14.4 points per game. It’s important to note that the team lost its two previous tries against ranked competition, dropping an 81-72 affair to Arizona and a 58-57 defeat versus Texas A&M.
Kentucky will put its 36-game winning streak inside tonight’s venue on the line and registered an 87-63 win over the Portland Pilots as 29.5-point favorites last time out on Nov. 26. Wildcats coach John Calipari knows that he must keep his youthful roster focused on the long road ahead. “This early in the season it’s nice, but a No. 1 ranking is not that significant,” stated Calipari in practice. “It just puts a bigger target on us.” Kentucky is 3-2 ATS on the season and the ‘under’ is 3-1 in those contests.
The Wildcats defense has been suffocating opponents from the start, holding all six opponents to below 38 percent shooting. Kentucky has five players averaging double-figures led by Doron Lamb’s 14.2 points per game. From a situational standpoint, fans should feel very comfortable in their team’s chances to walk away with a victory tonight, coming in with a dominating 62-2 all-time record at home when playing as the No. 1 team in the country. Calipari has registered a 42-6 mark in that situation during his career.
Bettors will likely back the Wildcats due to their 16-6-1 ATS mark versus Big East opponents, while the Red Storm are 2-5 ATS in non-conference action.
Don’t miss out on a winning season and let the college basketball handicappers at Maddux Sports line your pockets with cash. Long term packages are available now!