ESPN College Basketball Preview and Prediction: Pittsburgh Routs St. John's

Joe DuffyAnalyst IFebruary 19, 2011

Pittsburgh will find points easy to come by today says expert
Pittsburgh will find points easy to come by today says expertDrew Hallowell/Getty Images

It’s starts out the ESPN college basketball schedule, and it starts out the winning weekend. Senior Sports Handicapper Matt Rivers Saturday is on Pittsburgh (-3.5) at St. John’s.

Reasoning: I am a huge St. John’s fan, and I love what Steve Lavin has brought to the table and in such a small amount of time. The Red Storm are not a fluke at all, as one upset could be deemed that, but game after game after game from Georgetown to Duke to West Virginia on the road and on and on, this team has manned up and proven to be a very good and legit team. 

The Johnnies are an experienced, senior-laden team that just continues to grow and get better with every passing day. Today they are a home dog, which is never terrible, but it is my opinion that they have met their match and are up against it against the clearly superior Panthers.

Jamie Dixon just continues to impress the heck out of me. His teams never seem to be the most talented and loaded of squads, but yet season after season they overachieve to the max. The Panthers have lost a fair amount of pro talent recently in guys like Aaron Gray and DeJuan Blair, among others, causing the doubters to come out in the beginning of almost every season and yet the coach almost always has his boys there at the top.

We are currently looking at yet another very well-disciplined Pitt squad that just does not beat itself. Gibbs, Wannamaker and McGhee have led the way and even with Gibbs out this 24-2 squad was still able to go on the road at West Virginia and Villanova and win big-time ballgames. How many teams without their main man can pull that off? The last game against South Florida wasn’t great, but it was still a fairly easy 12-point victory in the end, which great teams seem to do.

Pitt is actually perfect on the road this season as the two losses came at home to Tennessee and Notre Dame, and with Gibbs expected to return, I just don’t see Lou Carnesecca’s former team being able to put another quality notch in their belt.

The Johnnies will fight and stay in this thing, but Pittsburgh is just too good right now.

Top expert pick on this game: It’s almost becoming too easy as the lone play on Friday, a 300,000* on Princeton, cashed that ticket once again in pretty much wire-to-wire fashion. I’ve now bashed that Crookie for 1.7 million* of profit in the last four days alone, all winning, which includes the 6-1 overall run.

Am I satisfied? Heck no! Today is the day of all days and just another example of how I am the best 'capper there is on this entire planet. Four monster plays including the most powerful and biggest gun in my arsenal, a 500,000* bomb involving Washington and Arizona. Bonus 300,000* also in the Pac-10 on Washington State and Arizona State plus a pair of 200,000* winners including Seton Hall-Marquette and Northwestern-Indiana. I am red hot and as locked and loaded today as I have ever been, and I mean ever. Get Rivers historic card