Connecticut vs. Seton Hall Betting Odds
Big East play rolls along with an intriguing matchup between two top-tier Big East teams.
Connecticut and Seton Hall are both physical, imposing basketball teams that play hard on defense and dominate the paint on offense.
These are two similar styles of play, and the question is: Which team does it better?
Both teams are also sitting at 10-3, although Seton Hall has already recorded two conference losses this season (Providence, Villanova).
So, who has the edge in this big early-conference game?
Connecticut Huskies Odds
UConn’s identity is embodied by Tyrese Martin and Adama Sanogo. The two are lengthy, athletic forwards that score 14 points per game and pace the team in offensive rebounding rate.
The Huskies are an obsessive offensive rebounding team. UConn is 12th nationally in offensive rebounding rate and generates a put-back opportunity on almost 10% of their possessions. Generating second-chance points is huge for Dan Hurley’s team.
However, most of the offense is generated by point guard RJ Cole. Cole is the Huskies’ highest-usage player, dropping over 16 points per game with a 116 ORtg and a top-100 assist rate. He can carry his team through offensive draughts, which is huge for such a dominating defense.
RJ Cole is so smooth in transition
— Barstool Bench Mob (@stoolbenchmob) December 22, 2021
As mentioned, Connecticut is imposing defensively. The Huskies are top-10 in 2-point defense and block rate, as the front-court rotation of Sanogo, Akok Akok, and Isaiah Whaley protect the interior as well as any tandem nationally.
Seton Hall Pirates Odds
Whenever talking about Seton Hall, you must start with Bryce Aiken.
The Harvard transfer has transformed the Pirates backcourt and bench. He’s the team’s second-leading scorer while pacing the team in ORtg. His jump shooting hasn’t been stellar this season, but he’s a three-level scorer with a flair for the dramatic.
bryce aiken is a mixtape pic.twitter.com/ZtHVVyubXO
— BIG EAST MBB (@BIGEASTMBB) January 5, 2022
He backs up Kadary Richmond, who’s posting awesome numbers as a facilitator. He’s dishing out 3.4 assists per game with a nationally ranked assist rate, and he knows who among the first unit to get the ball to.
The first unit scoring load is put squarely on the shoulders of Jared Rhoden and Tyrese Samuel. Rhoden is a lengthy wing who mostly drives downhill. He’s a solid finisher but really shines at drawing fouls, wherein he’s top-50 nationally in free-throw rate and shoots 90% from the line.
Defensively, the team is top-20 in defensive effective field goal percentage and defensive rebounding. However, the team is holding opponents to just 25.9% shooting from 3, which seems unsustainable in the long run.
Connecticut vs. Seton Hall Prediction and Pick
My pick: Connecticut +1 or better
I understand the Pirates are coming off a brutal stretch of games, and that this could be a potential buy-low spot for them.
However, I won’t be backing Kevin Willard as a favorite, who is just 97-107-5 against the spread in that spot. Instead, I’d rather back Dan Hurley as a dog, as he’s 51-44-5 against the spread in that spot.
Plus, I really believe in this Connecticut team. I believe the Huskies have all the pieces to repeat last season’s success.
Seton Hall is certainly talented, but I’m not sold. Plus, the team is currently dealing with injuries to Tyrese Samuel and Jahari Long.
Give me the Huskies at anything better than +1.