College Basketball Odds, Picks, Predictions for Ohio State vs. Seton Hall: Defense To Rule Game?
Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images. Pictured: Kevin Willard
- Seton Hall faces off against Ohio State in the first round of the Fort Myers Tip-Off.
- The Pirates are coming off an upset over Michigan, while the Buckeyes have struggled a bit.
- Charlie Disturco breaks down the matchup and offers up his best bet.
Ohio State vs. Seton Hall Odds
|Ohio State Odds|
-110o / -110u
|Seton Hall Odds|
-110o / -110u
Feast Week is finally here and with it comes exciting matchups between some of college basketball’s elite. Monday night will be no different at the Fort Myers Tip-Off, as Seton Hall and Ohio State meet.
These are two teams trending in the opposite direction early in the season.
The Pirates are fresh off an upset win over No. 4 Michigan and have dominated all other competition.
Ohio State looks to bounce back from a surprising loss to a Zach Freemantle-less Xavier squad this past weekend. The Buckeyes have limped through the season’s first four games and are desperately looking for a morale booster.
After a shocking first-round exit to Oral Roberts in the NCAA Tournament last season, expectations were high for an Ohio State team that returned its star EJ Liddell and a strong supporting cast.
But the start of the season has been nothing short of an enigma. The Buckeyes nearly lost in their season opener against Akron and were outplayed from start to finish in their loss to Xavier on Thursday night.
To make matters worse, Justice Sueing will miss an extended period of time with an abdominal injury. The 6-foot-7 transfer from Cal was expected to assume a larger role on offense after a solid first season with the Ohio State program.
The Buckeyes’ offense runs through Liddell, who is used on 34.5 percent of possessions (20th in the country, per KenPom).
Zed Key and Kyle Young make up the rest of the OSU frontcourt. The former is expected to take a sophomore leap — if he can stay out of foul trouble — while the latter stretches the floor and is as physical as they come.
Head coach Chris Holtmann is tasked with replacing the holes left behind by guards CJ Walker and Duane Washington Jr. Thus far, it’s been top-35 recruit Malaki Branham and Penn State transfer Jamari Wheeler.
Both provide stability on the defensive end with Branham having high upside overall. But Washington and Liddell were a dynamic one-two punch and early on, OSU’s offensive struggles can be credited to those losses.
Ohio State has a lot to work on, as seen in its offensive struggles against Xavier. Things won’t get any easier on Monday against an even better defense in Seton Hall.
Seton Hall entered the season underrated and quickly put an end to any doubt that it could compete with the country’s elite without do-it-all star big man Sandro Mamukelashvili.
The Pirates dominated Yale by 36 and followed it up with an upset win in Ann Arbor over No. 4 Michigan. Head coach Kevin Willard has stocked his roster with athleticism, as Seton Hall has the potential to be one of the best defensive teams in the country.
It all starts with Jared Rhoden and Myles Cale. Seton Hall’s offense runs primarily through the two 6-foot-6 guards, who are veterans on this roster. Harvard transfer Bryce Aiken is finally healthy, too, and was the difference maker against Michigan.
Where Seton Hall has excelled through its first four games has been on the defensive end, however. The Pirates rank No. 1 in opponents’ effective field goal percentage and No. 2 in 3-point defense, per KenPom.
This is a long, athletic team that loves to pressure the opposition. The defense is anchored by 7-foot-2 Ike Obiagu. Locking down the paint, Obiagu averaged nearly three blocks per game last season.
Kadary Richmond (Syracuse) and Alexis Yetna (South Florida) make their way to Seton Hall via the transfer portal. Richmond ranked 13th in steal rate last season and is oozing with potential. Yetna was a key cog in USF’s defense and is a physical bruiser at 6-foot-8.
At any time, Willard can send a lineup where his shortest player is 6-foot-5. That’s a scary sight for an opponent when it is working the ball around the perimeter looking for an opening inside.
Ohio State vs. Seton Hall Betting Pick
As mentioned before, Seton Hall is an elite defensive team. It’s the money maker for the Pirates, where their length and athleticism causes disruption and leads to longer possessions.
This ties in perfectly with a Buckeyes offense still in flux. Holtmann likes to take his time with offensive sets, using Liddell all over the floor to create scoring opportunities. This has led to Ohio State’s 18.3 seconds-per-possession, 281st in the country.
To me, this highly-anticipated game is going to be slowed down where scoring is at a premium. While Seton Hall certainly has the size advantage — which will disrupt the Buckeyes for stints at a time — OSU’s offense is more well-rounded.
The total for this game sits at 138.5. I think this is a tad bit too high in what I think will be a grind-it-out affair.
In all three games Seton Hall has played in this season, the under has yet to lose. I think the market still needs to adjust for how elite defensively this Pirates team is.
Seton Hall’s defense paired with Ohio State’s tempo makes this a game where the score should be closer to the low 130s.