Kansas vs St. John's Picks and Predictions: Jayhawks Struggle to Fly in Storm

The Jayhawks profile as the better team, but the Red Storm will be motivated, match up well, and have home court. Find out if all that adds up to covering tonight's spread as we break down our Kansas vs. St. John's college basketball picks.

Last Updated: Dec 3, 2021 11:38 AM ET Read Time: 4 min
Julian Champagnie St. John's Red Storm college basketball
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

On Friday, the Kansas Jayhawks head to the brand-new UBS Arena for a meeting with the St. John’s Red Storm. Bill Self’s team is coming off a 13-point win over Rick Pitino’s Iona Gales last game, and the Jayhawks now face a Red Storm team that has failed to cover in each of its last three wins — none of which came against high-major programs.

Do the Red Storm have what it takes to put a scare into the Jayhawks? Read our Kansas vs. St. John’s college basketball picks and predictions for Friday, December 3.  

Kansas vs St. John's odds

Odds via the Covers Line, an average comprised of odds from multiple sportsbooks.

A small majority of bettors are backing Kansas in this game, but the Jayhawks have gone from -7 at open to -6.5 on most sportsbooks. The total for this one opened at 157 and is down to 156.5 on some sites. 

Use the live odds widget above to track any future line movements right up until tip-off and be sure to check out the full college basketball odds before placing your bets.

Kansas vs St. John's predictions

Predictions made on 12/3/2021 at 10:25 a.m. ET.
Click on each prediction to jump to the full analysis.

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Kansas vs St. John's game info

Location: UBS Arena, Elmont, NY
Date: Friday, December 3, 2021
Tip-off: 7:00 p.m. ET
TV: Fox Sports 1

Kansas at St. John's betting preview

Injuries

Kansas: Cam Martin F (Out), Dillon Wilhite F (Out)
St. John's: Rafael Pinzon G (Out)

Find our latest NCAA basketball injury reports.

Betting trend to know

St. John’s is 7-2 against the spread in its last nine games against teams with winning records.  Find more NCAA betting trends for Kansas vs. St. John's.

Kansas vs St. John's picks and predictions

Our predictions are compiled from the analysis of the spread and total and are indications of where we are leaning for this game.
Our best bet is the play that we like the most for this game, which we would actually put some of our bankroll behind.

The Red Storm haven’t looked impressive in their last three victories, but they still only have one loss this season, and that was a game they almost won on the road against the Indiana Hoosiers. Meanwhile, the Jayhawks haven’t looked all that impressive either. Kansas blew a big lead and lost to the Dayton Flyers in the finals of the ESPN Events Invitational. The Jayhawks were favored by 16 in that game, and they have now failed to cover in each of their last three, too. 

There’s no denying that Kansas is the team with more upside down the road, as the Jayhawks are probably one of the 10 best teams in college basketball. However, the Red Storm actually match up pretty well in this game. A lot of Kansas’ talent is in the team’s backcourt, where Ochai Agbaji (22.5 points per game), Christian Braun (13.8 points per game) and Remy Martin (12.0 points per game) are the leading scorers for the Jayhawks. 

However, St. John’s guard Julian Champagnie is arguably the best guard in this game. The junior is actually built more like a wing, and he’s averaging 21.3 points, 6.8 rebounds and 2.2 steals per game this year. He’s doing so on 45.7 percent shooting from the floor and 35.7 percent shooting from deep. Don’t be surprised if Champagnie ends up scoring at least 25 in this one, and he’s more than capable of carrying the Red Storm in a close game here. 

Joel Soriano is also a player that could be a big factor in this one. The big man is averaging 8.8 points, 6.0 rebounds and 1.8 blocks per game this season, and the junior has the size to give David McCormack some trouble. McCormack has struggled out the gates for Kansas this season, and that’s one of the reasons this team isn’t playing to its potential. This meeting with Soriano isn’t a matchup that offers much hope of McCormack snapping out of it. 

Prediction: St. John’s +7 (-110)

The Over is 9-2 in the last 11 road games that Kansas has played and it’s also 9-1 in St. John’s home games against non-conference opponents since the start of last season. Don’t be surprised if this one ends up turning into a high-scoring affair, especially with both of these teams relying heavily on the firepower they possess in the backcourt. Also, the pace of play in this one should be pretty fast, as the Red Storm are fifth in the nation in possessions per game this season. 

Kansas isn’t going to want to play quite as fast as St. John’s in this game, but the Jayhawks have the fifth-best adjusted offensive efficiency in college basketball (all efficiency stats from KenPom.com). The Jayhawks are going to put the ball in the hoop, especially against a Red Storm team that is just 73rd in the nation in adjusted defensive efficiency. 

Prediction: Over 156.5 (-110)

The Red Storm have a lot of things going for them heading into this meeting with the Jayhawks. Not only is St. John’s 7-2 against the spread in its last nine games against teams with winning records, but the Red Storm are also 19-7 against the spread in their last 26 home games against teams with winning road records. They’re also 8-3 against the spread in their last 11 games as underdogs — and that can be broken down to 4-1 against the spread in their last five as home ‘dogs. 

Kansas is definitely one of the top teams in the country, but it can’t be overstated how important this game is for St. John’s. The Red Storm have to take advantage of their home crowd in a meeting with a vulnerable Jayhawks squad, as this is the type of win that could get this group off the bubble later in the year. Ultimately, Kansas will probably end up pulling out the win, but St. John’s should be in it until the end. 

Pick: St. John’s +7 (-110)

College basketball parlays

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