Seton Hall vs. Providence: Betting Odds, Picks, and Predictions (12/29/21)

Seton Hall vs. Providence Betting Odds

Many call the Big East the most-fun conference in college hoops. It’s hard to disagree with that sentiment.

This game is a testament to the conference’s ability. Kevin Willard and Ed Cooley will go head-to-head in Rhode Island Wednesday night.

The two went a combined 20-2 in conference play and both rank inside KenPom’s top-50. Seton Hall has the slightly more impressive résumé, but Providence has several key wins themselves.

But which team has the edge in this one?

Seton Hall Pirates Odds

Bryce Aiken is your favorite point guard’s favorite point guard.

The Harvard transfer has been tearing it up so far this season, most recently scoring 22 against Rutgers. He was Seton Hall’s second-leading scorer in non-conference play, but he has done so with the highest ORtg of any Pirate.

He splits scoring and playmaking duties with the 6-foot-6 guard Kadary Richmond and the 6-foot-6 wing Jared Rhoden.

Rhoden is the Pirates’ highest usage player, and he has dropped over 17 points per game in the process. But the three of them playing together attests to Seton Hall’s versatility.

Not just on offense, either. The Pirates are a dominant perimeter defense, leading the nation in spot-up points per possession allowed (.652). Seton Hall is also 10th in defensive effective field goal percentage and 18th in defensive rebounding rate.

The shooting has been sub-par. But that’s probably a good thing, as the Pirates’ 29.9% clip from 3 can only go up as we enter conference play.

Providence Friars Odds

When Ed Cooley is catching points, there’s no better coach to back.

Following an outright win vs. Connecticut, Providence is now 4-0 ATS as an underdog this season. Providence plays at a slow tempo with solid interior defense and gets to the line often. The team also rebounds well and avoids fouling.

Providence just does all the right things, and the Friars are the perfect underdog team to bet on.

It’s a team effort for the Friars, but they like to run the offense through their big men. This season, center Nate Watson leads the team in the percentage of shots taken (26.4%) while dropping 15 points per game.

But it’s worth pointing out the Providence backcourt. Upperclassmen Aljam Durham and Alyn Breed run an offense that avoids steals (26th in offensive steal rate) and records a lot of assisted baskets (35th in A/FGM).

Those two have the job of getting the ball to the big men down low, and they’ve done so to perfection.

Seton Hall vs. Providence Prediction and Pick

My pick: Providence +1 or better

I mentioned how coach Cooley was money as an underdog, and I want to put my money where my mouth is.

Unfortunately, this line has opened around Providence -1. But if you see the Friars catching points anywhere, jump on it quick.

Because Cooley has covered in six of his last seven opportunities as a home dog. He’s won outright in five of those six.

Meanwhile, Kevin Willard isn’t the guy to back when laying road chalk. Willard is just 16-26 against the spread as a road favorite in his career.

Providence now has six wins against KenPom top-100 opponents, with four of those coming against KenPom top-40 opponents. Seton Hall is ranked higher according to most metrics, but the Pirates’ win over Michigan is severely overrated, and their only other top-tier win was over Texas at home.

Like I do every time, I’ll be backing Cooley and Co. if I’m catching points.

Tanner joined Lineups to cover everything, but he has vast experience in, and unlimited passion for, Major League Baseball and NCAA Basketball. He’s a McGill University grad and former (Canadian) Division-I alpine ski racer who now spends his time drinking beer and betting home underdogs. Patrick Mahomes is a poor man’s Tom Brady.

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