College Basketball Odds, Pick, Prediction: Creighton vs. Seton Hall (Friday, February 4)
Mitchell Layton/Getty Images. Pictured: Ike Obiagu
- Creighton takes on Seton Hall tonight in a battle of struggling Big East squads.
- The Pirates are significant home favorites, but the value here may well be on the total.
- Continue reading for a full breakdown of the matchup, including a betting pick.
Creighton vs. Seton Hall Odds
-110o / -110u
|Seton Hall Odds|
-110o / -110u
By February, a lot of teams start to figure things out and fulfill their destiny. Others run out of gas or run out of luck. Bettors love these kinds of teams. If you jump on or off them at the right time, there’s wins to be had.
But then there are a group of teams in the murky middle that just cause everyone — from the media to fans, bettors and probably their own coaching staffs — to scratch their heads.
Seton Hall and Creighton are both settling into that space, with matching 13-7 records on the season and neighboring spots in the Big East standings. Seton Hall is just 4-7 since Christmas after a red-hot 9-1 start. Creighton has submitted a few of the most perplexing performances in all of college basketball this season.
Friday’s meeting offers both a chance to escape the quicksand of recent struggles and make a case to the NCAA Tournament Selection Committee.
The Bluejays’ last three games feel like a riddle with no answer. It seems impossible for the same team to produce the three results that the Bluejays uncorked.
First, Creighton lost to a bad, bad Butler team on the road in Hinkle Fieldhouse. A clunker performance like that happens, but this was inexcusable. Creighton scored only 55 points on 0.80 points per possession and shot 2-of-22 from outside the arc. A sluggish start to the second half doomed the Bluejays to a 17-point loss.
Creighton then turned around and looked great to open a home game against Xavier. The Bluejays took a 19-point lead into the half before the wheels fell off. Xavier began the second half on a 29-2 run, completely running away with the game.
Following those brutal losses, Creighton travelled to UConn, likely the most arduous trip in the Big East (Providence is slightly further from Creighton than UConn, but at least that city has an airport!). Creighton responded by beating a ranked Huskies team, putting forth its best defensive effort so far this season.
Where does this leave Creighton now? It’s impossible to say. The Bluejays’ offense has devolved into a mess, bogged down by turnovers and an overreliance on jump shooting.
In recent weeks, it has become clear that Creighton is better running its offense through its veteran bigs, Ryan Hawkins and Ryan Kalkbrenner, than handing the keys to its freshman perimeter players. Kalkbrenner missed time against UConn with an injury, so his status is something to watch here.
Take a bunch of the adjectives used about Creighton and paste them in this section as well. Seton Hall has been confusing, although some context about its early season triumphs puts its place among the Big East hierarchy a little more clear.
The Pirates built some buzz with two crucial early season wins out of conference. Victories at Michigan and over Texas made Seton Hall look like a contender for the Big East crown. A few months later, Michigan and Texas have not fully lived up to expectations and Seton Hall is under .500 in Big East play.
Shooting has been a major problem for the Pirates. Among Seton Hall’s five most frequent 3-point shooters, Bryce Aiken has made the highest percentage, at a slightly above-average 35 percent. Jared Rhoden, Alexis Yetna and Kadary Richmond are all attempting more than one 3-pointer per game and hitting under 30 percent. That lack of shooting has ripple effects, closing down driving lanes and making defenses far more capable of helping and recovering.
The lack of spacing really hurts the Pirates, who are so dependent on the driving of Aiken, Rhoden and Richmond. They thrive in isolation and rank 352nd in the nation in assist rate. If a team can keep the Seton Hall guards penned to the perimeter without giving fouls, the Pirates’ offense sputters.
Creighton vs. Seton Hall Betting Pick
After Creighton’s performances in the last three games, I’ve sworn off picking the Bluejays against the spread or via the moneyline. Early in the year, I thought Greg McDermott’s young team was undervalued. While that proved to be untrue, they can still put things together for 40 minutes on occasion and steal a game.
These two teams meeting at this point in the season feels like two elementary school students racing after spinning around baseball bats. Picking a winner is nearly impossible, but it’s a good bet that things will be ugly.
The under has hit in the last five Seton Hall games and six of the last eight Creighton games. That could certainly mean both are due for an over, but I think this trend is more tied to how these teams have played of late than just being a numerical quirk.
Both coaches are finding ways to grind out wins on the defensive end of the floor, slowing things down against their conference opponents. I’ll take my chances riding with the under once again.
Pick: Under 137.5
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