Seton Hall vs Villanova Odds, Picks: Back the Better Team

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Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images. Pictured: Caleb Daniels (Villanova)

Seton Hall vs Villanova Odds

Saturday, Feb. 11
8 p.m. ET
Seton Hall Odds
-110o / -110u
Villanova Odds
-110o / -110u
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute college basketball odds here.

Villanova has only won one of its four games since Justin Moore returned from his Achilles injury, but the Wildcats have made dramatic improvements in their underlying numbers.

They host Seton Hall at the Wells Fargo Center in South Philadelphia on Saturday night as short favorites.

The Wildcats lost to Providence on a game decided in the final minute, lost at Marquette despite leading for 35 minutes and took Creighton down to the wire in Omaha.

Moore's return has provided an additional key ball handler and scorer to run the offense through, and the market hasn't caught up to the Cats' improvements with him yet.

Seton Hall had a highly-competitive 30 minutes at home against Creighton, but the Pirates' offense went cold in the half-court down the stretch — a problem that continues to plague this team.

Seton Hall Pirates

Seton Hall is an elite all-around defense, but the projected strength of the Pirates' defense is on the interior. Tyrese Samuel and KC Ndefo are elite post-up defenders and rim protectors.

The Pirates play an aggressive brand of defense that pressures the ball to chase shooters and try to force turnovers. If you're able to pass the ball effectively and keep the ball moving, you can find open shooting pockets against this defense.

That's where Moore is such a huge key on the Villanova perimeter.

The Wildcats have struggled in the backcourt against physical and aggressive defenses, but Moore will help them shuffle the ball around and generate open looks from beyond the arc when Seton Hall over helps.

Villanova also prioritizes transition defense and slowing down opponents that over chase after offensive rebounds. The Pirates need to be able to run in transition to be an effective and efficient offense, and Villanova will make that difficult in this matchup.

Seton Hall is in just the 35th percentile nationally in half-court offense, per Synergy.

Villanova Wildcats

Villanova won't consistently look to attack the interior strength of this Seton Hall defense because it shoots 3s at one of the highest rates in the country.

The Wildcats have been one of the unluckiest teams in the country — per KenPom — and they have a ton of positive shooting regression coming based on their shooters' career numbers.

The Wildcats have a bunch of shooters that sit in the 34-to-35% range who you'd expect to shoot at a higher percentage.

Caleb Daniels is shooting five percent below his career average, and Justin Moore has made just 25% of his 3s since coming back. Moore is a career 35% shooter and Daniels is a career 37% guy.

Villanova has only made 32% from 3 in Big East play, which makes it the second-worst shooting team in the entire conference.

Seton Hall's defense has run well this year when it comes to defending 3s — opponents have made just 30% against it.

There's shooting regression on both ends of this matchup, and it creates a perception that Villanova is less efficient offensively than I think its true mean is.

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Seton Hall vs Villanova Betting Pick

The betting market thinks that this game will be close down the stretch, and Villanova has a major advantage from the free-throw line if this matchup comes down to fouls.

The Pirates have made just 67% from the free-throw line this season and have the second-worst free-throw percentage in the conference.

Villanova is the best free-throw shooting team in the country, which is comforting to know if you're backing a home favorite of multiple possessions.

Because of early-season injuries to Cam Whitmore and Moore, Villanova has struggled depth-wise, and it's hurt when trying to close out games.

The Wildcats now go consistently eight deep again. While closing out games remains an issue under first-year head coach Kyle Neptune, Villanova has the much more salvageable late-game, half-court offense in this matchup.

Villanova may have the worse record, but it's the better team at full strength.

At home, I'd be comfortable laying the Wildcats at four or better.

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