Seton Hall vs Xavier Odds, Picks | NCAAB Betting Guide (Dec. 20)

Seton Hall vs Xavier Odds, Picks | NCAAB Betting Guide (Dec. 20) article feature image

Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images. Pictured: KC Ndefo (Seton Hall)

  • Coming off of a loss to Providence at home, Seton Hall must now travel to the Cintas Center to take on Xavier in another Big East duel.
  • The Pirates have been great defensively this season while the Musketeers really struggled on that end of the court against Georgetown.
  • Can the Pirates keep this one close, or even win? Keg has a full breakdown below.

Seton Hall vs Xavier Odds

Tuesday, Dec. 20
8:30 p.m. ET
Seton Hall Odds
-114o / -106u
Xavier Odds
-114o / -106u
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute college basketball odds here.

The Pirates will look to bounce back on Tuesday night after a painful loss against Providence on Saturday. Against the Friars, Seton Hall led by as many as nine early in the second half, but it couldn't hold off the Providence comeback and came up short on a last second 3 to tie the game.

Getting back on track in Big East play may be easier said than done for the Pirates. They'll now head to Cincinnati and try to knock off an Xavier team that's riding high on a five-game win streak.

Things won't get easier from there, either. The Pirates are set to face three of the top four ranked Big East teams (per KenPom) before the calendar flips to 2023.

Do the Pirates stand a chance against Xavier? The Cintas Center has been a favorable venue for Seton Hall of late, as the Pirates have won every game they've played in the building dating back to 2018.

Seton Hall Pirates

The Pirates' success begins and ends with their defense. Through their first 12 games of the season, Seton Hall's defense has been elite holding teams to 62.1 points per game. And of late, the Pirates have been even better, holding opponents to just 54.5 points per game over their last four.

Limiting Xavier as much as they can will be the first step in pulling off the upset against the Musketeers. Xavier is sixth in the nation in points per game (84.8).

One major advantage the Pirates will have against Xavier is their ability to match up height wise around the rim. They'll be able to challenge the Musketeers' big man, Jack Nunge.

KC Ndefo poses the biggest threat to Nunge, as he's the active career leader in blocks in the NCAA. Ndefo has averaged four blocks per game over the last four.

In its last five games, Seton Hall ranks in the 93rd percentile, holding opposing teams to 42.7% on 2-point shots. The Pirates have been almost just as good at defending shots at the rim, holding teams to 54.8% on the year.

Stopping Xavier at the rim could change the game entirely, given that the Musketeers have taken 34% of their shots at the rim.

Offensively, Seton Hall might not have the star power of Xavier, but it does hold an advantage when it comes to depth. No Big East team has seen its bench produce more than the Pirates (27.1 PPG).

Xavier Musketeers

Seton Hall will be the third team Xavier plays that ranks 30th or better in Adjusted Defensive Efficiency, per KenPom. The first two were Indiana and Duke, who both overcame the Musketeers.

Seton Hall, however, does not present the same challenges offensively.

Seton Hall has posted an effective field goal percentage of just 47.8%, which ranks outside the top 250.

And while I do think the Pirates' defense will be the biggest factor against Xavier, there's a clear issue with the Musketeers' defense.

Xavier has allowed teams to score 73.9 points per game.

In its last game against Georgetown, its offense was firing on all cylinders, scoring over 100 points for the first time since 2018. However, had it not had one of its best offensive performances in the last five years, Xavier could've very easily lost that game.

The Hoyas racked up 89 points against Xavier, scoring what felt like nearly at will. If Seton Hall is given the same opportunity — and its defense holds as it has so far this season — it could get scary for the Musketeers.

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Seton Hall vs. Xavier Betting Pick

Outside of UConn, Seton Hall poses the biggest threat in regards to stopping the Xavier offense among all Big East teams. And after Xavier allowed Georgetown to score at will — treating defense like an option at times — I'm hesitant to lay with points with the Musketeers.

I don't think Seton Hall's success of late in the Cintas Center just disappears with Sean Miller back on the sideline, either. Xavier has struggled to close out games, as well as cover spreads against top competition.

That's why I'm backing the Pirates to keep this one close. Take Seton Hall at +6 or better on Tuesday night.

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