College Basketball Odds, Picks and Predictions for Seton Hall vs. Providence (Wednesday, Dec. 29)
Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Alexis Yetna (Seton Hall)
- Seton Hall travels to The Dunk to take on Providence in its first Big East game.
- The Friars have overachieved so far this season, as they are looking to improve to 2-0 in the Big East and 12-1 overall.
- College basketball betting analyst Anthony Dabbundo explains why this is a sell high spot.
Seton Hall vs. Providence Odds
|Seton Hall Odds|
-110o / -110u
-110o / -110u
Big East play has gotten off to a rocky start due to COVID cancellations, but Seton Hall and Providence will meet at The Dunk in Providence on Wednesday night. The Pirates will begin conference play on the road and the Friars attempt to move to 2-0 in league play.
Seton Hall hasn’t played a game in 17 days — a win against in-state rival Rutgers. Since then, the Pirates’ games against Iona, St. John’s and DePaul have been canceled due to COVID-19.
Providence thought it would be moving to 2-0 in conference play when it was awarded a free victory after COVID within the Georgetown program forced a cancellation. But the Big East changed its policy and the Friars will play their first conference home game on Wednesday after beating UConn on the road on Dec. 18.
The Friars’ strong non-conference moved them into the upper echelon of Big East teams, but this might be a time to sell high on Providence.
The Pirates were widely viewed as one of the closest challengers to Villanova for the Big East title when the season began, and that’s still true following the non-conference. Xavier and Connecticut have impressed too, but the Pirates have wins against Michigan, Rutgers by 14 and Texas.
This is only their second game away from home this season, the first since that upset win at Michigan in November. But the Pirates are very experienced, very deep and very dangerous to play against.
This presents as a favorable matchup for Seton Hall because of how the Pirates’ length can affect the Friars’ two best players, Al Durham and Nate Watson.
Head coach Kevin Willard has a ton of different looks he can throw at the Providence backcourt, and the Pirates’ length is a major reason why they guard the perimeter so well.
The Pirates are 14th in average height and go 6-foot-5 or taller across their entire lineup. The defense allows very few open catch-and-shoot 3s and that’s one of the reasons as to why they are sixth-best at defending the 3 in the entire country.
ShotQuality projects the Seton Hall defense as the 15th best in the country, based on the quality of shots allowed. Haslametrics says that the Pirates are not only defensively elite, but they protect the rim at the sixth-best rate in the country and don’t allow many quick second chance looks.
Providence’s offense has over-performed expectations quite a bit this season, but it’s still very reliant on dribble drives, Watson post-ups and getting to the foul line. Seton Hall has plenty of depth to avoid foul trouble and Tyrese Samuel is an excellent rebounder and shot blocker to match-up with Watson.
Providence has been one of the biggest overachievers relative to expectations in the entire country. We probably shouldn’t be that surprised given the experience and size across the board.
The Friars are anchored by Watson in the middle, but the addition of Durham to the backcourt — to join the sharpshooter A.J. Reeves and the very improved defender Jared Bynum — has raised the level of the Providence depth and secondary pieces.
With that being said, they’ve over-performed a bit defensively. Providence rarely turns its opponents over and given how little Seton Hall turns it over on offense, almost all the Pirates’ possessions will end with shot attempts.
The Friars have solid defensive rebounding numbers in the aggregate, but looked vulnerable on the glass against UConn and played a favorable non-conference schedule — in the sense that most of its good opponents were not teams who crash the glass.
For example, Wisconsin, Virginia and Vermont were not going to even try for offensive rebounds.
When UConn did, it got a lot of second chance looks. Seton Hall should too. So while Providence will struggle to get second looks on offense when it misses, the Pirates can take advantage of a relative weakness for the Friars on the defensive glass.
Seton Hall vs. Providence Betting Pick
The betting market sees this game as a toss-up, which is a credit to how improved Providence is. But the market is showing too much love to the Friars after their win against UConn on Dec. 18 and penalizing Seton Hall too much for potential rust.
The Pirates’ COVID pause ended more than a week ago and they were able to get a lot of practices in between now and then.
According to research from Evan Miya of EvanMiya.com, COVID pauses were a 2.8 point negative for teams upon return. But Seton Hall didn’t have serious COVID cases, so I’m expecting it to be less of a penalty this year.
The toss-up games typically come down to second chance points, turnovers and shooting variance. Neither team is particularly good at shooting from deep, but the Hall has an edge on the offensive glass and doesn’t turn the ball over much at all.
The Friars have had an excellent start to the year, but I’m selling high here.
Pick: Seton Hall -1 or better
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