Creighton vs Seton Hall Odds, Picks: Why This Game Favors the Defenses
Photo by Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Femi Odukale & KC Ndefo (Seton Hall)
Creighton vs. Seton Hall Odds
-110o / -110u
|Seton Hall Odds|
-110o / -110u
The national discourse surrounding Creighton coming into the season couldn’t have been higher. The Bluejays began the campaign as Big East favorites in the betting markets and were viewed as everyone’s Final Four dark horse.
Once Creighton lost six straight games in November and December, the buzz surrounding the Bluejays faded.
As the college basketball season enters the stretch run though, Creighton is quietly surging up the AP Poll, into the Big East title race and back into the March Madness title picture.
The Bluejays have won six straight games in the Big East since their three-point loss to Xavier on Jan. 11.
They’ve beaten Providence and Xavier in that time frame, but they’ll have to prove they can win away from Omaha against a quality team on Wednesday night when they visit Seton Hall.
The Bluejays’ only away wins all season have come at Georgetown and Butler. With a home game against Connecticut looming on Saturday, Creighton must first pass a difficult test against Shaheen Holloway’s Pirates.
Creighton’s downswing coincided with the illness and absence of Ryan Kalkbrenner in the middle of the defense.
Because the Bluejays have no depth and no one to effectively replicate Kalkbrenner’s shot-altering rim protection in the middle, the defense suffered for it.
Since Jan. 1, when Kalkbrenner was back to 100% healthy, the Bluejays have been a top-10 defensive team in the nation by Bart Torvik efficiency.
This is a favorable matchup for the Bluejays’ defense. Seton Hall loves to attack the rim and get downhill as much as possible. The Pirates are not at all a good shooting team from the perimeter and rely on getting to the free-throw line at one of the highest rates in the country.
They also need offensive rebounds and second-chance opportunities to make up for their shooting inefficiency.
Since Big East play has begun, Creighton is first in defensive rebounding rate, defensive foul rate and 2-point field goal defense.
Seton Hall’s offense is fifth in the country in near proximity attempt rate, and the Bluejays are a top-15 defense in the nation in near proximity field goal percentage allowed, per Haslametrics.
Creighton isn’t going to apply a ton of ball pressure against Seton Hall, but the Pirates are also prone to just giving it away to the opposition. That will cut down further on their offensive efficiency.
Unless Kalkbrenner gets into early foul trouble — and he’s pretty good at not doing that — it’s hard to see Seton Hall sustaining consistent offense without making an unusual number of perimeter jump shots.
Seton Hall extends its defense to take away the 3-point line and pressure the ball to try to force turnovers.
While the Pirates won’t be able to turn Creighton over much, they should bother the Bluejays’ 3-point shooting. Creighton has one of the most efficient spot-up offensive shooting units in the entire country and often has four capable shooters on the floor at once.
Seton Hall’s perimeter and wing defense is among the best in the Big East and the country. It’s allowed just 30.2% from 3 in the league, and it’s backed up by the ShotQuality data. Seton Hall is 30th-best in the country in Open 3 Rate Allowed, per SQ.
The Pirates are also very difficult to score on at the rim because of KC Ndefo in the middle. They take risks on the perimeter because they know that Ndefo and Tyrese Samuel are excellent at altering shots and grabbing rebounds.
If there’s a weakness for this Hall defense, it’s that it can be susceptible to offensive rebounds because of its generally aggressive approach.
That won’t be much of a problem in this matchup, though, because Creighton prioritizes defensive transition and getting back over the pursuit of offensive rebounds.
Creighton vs. Seton Hall Betting Pick
If this game is played in the half-court offensively, Seton Hall is going to struggle to score.
But the defense should make life difficult for the elite Bluejays offense, at least enough to keep this game under the market total.
Ndefo, Samuel and Kalkbrenner are elite at the rim and if you can’t consistently score from the perimeter, it’s a nightmare matchup for both of these offenses.
Creighton is a good but not elite shooting team, while Seton Hall’s offense is overly reliant on free throws against a Bluejays defense that fouls at the lowest rate in the country.
I’d play the under at 134 or better.
Pick: Under 134 or Better
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