The sparkling new UBS Arena in Elmont, N.Y., hosts its first basketball game on Friday when the No. 8 Kansas Jayhawks and St. John's Red Storm collide in the 2021 Big East-Big 12 Battle. The home of the New York Islanders of the NHL, UBS Arena opened adjacent to Belmont Park on Nov. 20. The arena is less than eight miles from the St. John's campus in Queens. Kansas (5-1) is coming off a 96-83 win versus Iona on Nov. 28 while St. John's (5-1) brings a three-game winning streak into Friday's game.
Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. ET. The Jayhawks are favored by seven points in the latest Kansas vs. St. John's odds from Caesars Sportsbook, while the over-under for total points scored is 157.5. Before making any St. John's vs. Kansas picks, check out the college basketball predictions and betting advice from the SportsLine Projection Model.
The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every Division I college basketball game 10,000 times. Over the past five-plus years, the proprietary computer model has generated an impressive profit of almost $2,100 for $100 players on its top-rated college basketball picks against the spread. Anyone who has followed it has seen huge returns.
- Kansas vs. St. John's spread: Jayhawks -7
- Kansas vs. St. John's over-under: 157.5 points
- KU: The Jayhawks rank 12th in the country in field-goal percentage (51.5).
- SJU: The Red Storm average 21.5 assists per game, which is second in the nation.
Why Kansas can cover
Kansas is one of the best teams at taking care of and sharing the ball in the country. The Jayhawks commit just 10.0 turnovers per game, which leads the Big 12, and average 17.0 assists per game, which is second in the conference. When combined, the team's assist-turnover ratio is 1.70, which ranks 10th in the nation.
In addition, Kansas faces a St. John's team that has faced one of the easiest schedules so far in the country. The Red Storm's six opponents are a combined 11-26, and that includes 6-1 Indiana, which beat St. John's 76-74. Three of the Red Storm's opponents haven't won a game this season. According to kenpom.com, St. John's has played the third easiest schedule among Div. I teams.
Why St. John's can cover
St. John's is one of the best passing teams in the country. The Red Storm average 21.5 assists per game, which is second in the nation, behind only Arizona (23.5). Sophomore Posh Alexander leads the team and ranks ninth in Div. I in assists per game (6.6).
In addition, St. John's has a potent scorer in Julian Champagnie. A 6-foot-8 junior from Brooklyn, Champagnie averages 21.3 points per game, which is second in the Big East and 16th in the country. Led by Champagnie, the Red Storm average 87.3 points per game, which ranks eighth in Div. I.
How to make St. John's vs. Kansas picks
SportsLine's model is leaning under on the total, projecting 155 combined points. It also says one side of the spread hits almost 70 percent of the time. You can get the pick only at SportsLine.
So who wins Kansas vs. St. John's? And which side of the spread hits almost 70 percent of the time? Visit SportsLine now to see which side of the spread to jump on, all from the advanced model that has returned almost $2,100 on its college basketball picks the last five-plus years, and find out.