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Seton Hall vs. Butler Odds, Picks, Predictions: Back the Shorthanded Pirates on the Road (Tuesday, Jan. 4)

Seton Hall vs. Butler Odds, Picks, Predictions: Back the Shorthanded Pirates on the Road (Tuesday, Jan. 4) article feature image

Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Jared Rhoden (Seton Hall)

  • The Seton Hall Pirates are short road favorites against the Butler Bulldogs on Tuesday night.
  • Is there value on the home underdogs against a shorthanded Seton Hall team?
  • Alex Hinton breaks down the matchup and shares his best bet.

Seton Hall vs. Butler Odds

Tuesday, Jan. 4
8 p.m. ET
CBS Sports Network
Seton Hall Odds
-110o / -110u
Butler Odds
-110o / -110u
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute college basketball odds here.

After a 9-1 start to the season, Seton Hall has begun 0-2 in Big East play. However, the Pirates were undermanned in both losses due to COVID-19 protocols. Despite that, the Pirates were able to hang close with rival Villanova but could not close the deal in a 73-67 defeat. The Pirates fell nine spots to #24 in the AP poll this week.  Next, Seton Hall will head on the road to face Butler.

The Bulldogs are 8-4 and got off to an undefeated start in Big East play with a 63-59 victory over DePaul. Butler was supposed to play at UConn on Saturday before the game was postponed to COVID-19 due to issues within the UConn program.

Butler won the last meeting 61-52 in Indianapolis and leads the series 10-8 since it joined the Big East in 2013. However, Seton Hall has won seven of the last ten meetings.

Will Seton Hall being able to continue its recent success despite being shorthanded?

Seton Hall Pirates

Against Villanova, Seton Hall was only able to dress eight players and was missing Tyrese Samuel and Ike Obiagu in the frontcourt. These frontcourt issues compounded after big men Alexis Yetna and Tray Jackson fouled out. As a result, the Pirates finished the game with a four guard lineup and were -14 on the glass.

Seton Hall head coach Kevin Willard did not address whether the team would get back other players in the protocol, but Samuel and Obiagu will be out again at Butler. Samuel averages 10.8 points and 6.9 rebounds while Obiagu averages 2.7 blocks in just 16.1 minutes per game. That will put more pressure on Yetna and Jackson to stay out of foul trouble. Willard could also opt to use reserve big man Jo Smith after he did not see the floor against Villanova.

While shorthanded, Seton Hall will still put a talented team on the floor. The Pirates are led by senior swingman Jared Rhoden, who is averaging 16.4 points and 7.5 rebounds. Grad transfer Bryce Aiken has thrived in a sixth man role and is contributing 12.2 points off the bench. Yetna averages 9.4 points and 6.8 rebounds, and he had 10 points and 8 rebounds before fouling out on Saturday. Guard Jahmir Harris is the Pirates’ best three-point shooter at 37% and was 4-for-6 from deep on Saturday.

Seton Hall ranks 46th in Adjusted Offensive Efficiency and 29th on the defensive end. While it hurts not having Obiagu, who is one of the nation’s best shot blockers, Seton Hall defends the three-point line as well as anyone. The Pirates hold opponents to 26.5% from deep, which ranks 11th nationally. Villanova shot 6-for-20 from three on Saturday, and that success should continue against Butler.

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Butler Bulldogs

Butler has been a solid defensive team all season, and that continued in the conference opener. The Bulldogs held DePaul to 59 points, 38% from the field, and 30% from deep. Butler is 25th nationally in scoring defense (59.9 PPG) and 67th in Adjusted Defensive Efficiency. It has forced nine out of 12 opponents to commit more turnovers than assists, including 21 turnovers by DePaul last time out.

However, Butler has struggled on the other end of the floor. It ranks 323rd in scoring (63.3 PPG), 263rd in Offensive Rating, and 161st in Adjusted Offensive Efficiency. It doesn’t help that the Bulldogs shoot just 69% from the foul line as a team, which is 227th nationally. However, Butler may be in line for a boost from guard Simas Lukosius.

The six-foot-six freshman averages just five points per game, but he broke out for 15 against DePaul. He also is tied for second on the team in three-point percentage at 37.5%. If that continues, he would provide a big boost both against Seton Hall and for the rest of the season.

The Bulldogs essentially have a trio of double-digit scorers in guards Chuck Harris, Jayden Taylor, and Jair Bolden. Harris leads the way 11.7 points per game, and senior forward Bryce Golden is averaging 8.9 points and 4.2 rebounds on 59.7% shooting from the field.

Seton Hall vs. Butler Betting Pick

While Seton Hall will be again be without Samuel and Obiagu, Butler is not the kind of team that will exploit those absences. Harris, Taylor, and Bolden along with guard Aaron Thompson are all between 6’2 and 6’4 while Golden is the tallest player in Butler’s rotation at 6’9. Kevin Willard will be able to play small if he chooses and not worry about getting beat up on the glass again because Butler is 317th in rebounds per game.

Winning in conference on the road is tough, however I trust Seton Hall more offensively than Butler. The Bulldogs only average 63 points per game and now have to deal with a stingy Seton Hall defense. While Seton Hall’s scoring average is down to 66 points in conference play, its first two games have come against Providence and Villanova, two top 40 defenses.

Additionally, in a close game, the better free throw shooting team has an advantage. Seton Hall shoots 74% from the foul line compared to 69% for Butler. I’m buying the Pirates in a bounce back spot here.

Pick: Seton Hall -3.5 (Play to -5)

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