NCAA Basketball Pick on DePaul as Home Dog vs. Seton Hall

LT Profits Sports Group

Tuesday, February 3, 2015 2:52 PM UTC

Tuesday, Feb. 3, 2015 2:52 PM UTC

Each day LT Profits Sports seeks an overlay side that has a better chance of cashing than its spread, offering long term value. Here is their Side Value Play for Tuesday.


Perhaps the most pleasant surprise in the Big East this season looks like an appealing underdog Tuesday night when the Seton Hall Pirates (15-6, 3-4 away) pay a visit to those DePaul Blue Demons (11-12, 8-4 home) at Allstate Arena in Chicago, IL at 9:00 ET in a game televised nationally on FOX Sports 1.

The point spread at Bet365 has DePaul as a home underdog for this contest with the current line at +4 with odds of -110.

Blue Demons 5-5 in Conference
DePaul comes off of a 12-21 season last year where it went just 3-15 inside the Big East, although the Blue Demons did give a glimmer of hope for the future by upsetting Georgetown in the Big East Tournament before getting knocked out by Creighton. Things did not look promising this season though when the Demons lost their last six non-conference games, but they then opened Big East play with a 61-58 upset of Marquette.

In fact DePaul began conference play 5-2 while going 7-0 ATS in those contests before losing the last three games. Still, the Blue Demons were double-digit underdogs in all three of those losses with two coming on the road and the most recent coming here at home to seventh ranked 19-2 Villanova, so they should appreciate this drop in class.

Seton Hall was off to a great start this year going 10-2 in non-conference play with both losses coming on the road to teams currently in the top 40 on the Pomeroy Ratings at 14th ranked Wichita State and at 31st ranked Georgia. They then opened 2-0 in Big East play including a home overtime upset of Villanova but were recently the losing NCAA Basketball picks in three straight games before winning their last two at Marquette and at home vs. Xavier.

Already Sprung Some Home Surprises
Speaking of Xavier, which is currently ranked 19th on Pomeroy, the Musketeers are one of three Pomeroy Top 50 teams that DePaul has beaten here in Chicago this year, joining St. John’s in Big East play and Stanford out of conference. The Demons also show one such win on the road, at, you guessed it, Seton Hall! That was the last game DePaul won before the current three-game losing streak.

The key to the Blue Demons’ improvement this year has been the tremendous strides they have taken offensively. Last season, DePaul finished 176th in the country in offensive efficiency and 257th in effective field goal percentage at 47.7 percent. This season it is 81st in efficiency and 63rd in effective field goal percentage at 51.8 percent, ranking 81st in three-point shooting at 36.5 percent while also making a good 49.7 percent of two-point shots.

Furthermore DePaul leads the conference in three-point shooting at 37.4 percent during Big East play.

Seton Hall Seeking Revenge, But…
Seton Hall is now obviously in a revenge spot after losing to DePaul at home and the recent three-game losing streak makes every game critical for the Pirates, who are suddenly on the NCAA Tournament bubble after appearing to be safely in before that skid. In fact, we actually had the Pirates are our first team out of the Big Dance before their big home win over Xavier Saturday.

So with every game critical and revenge in mind, not to mention leading the entire country in three-point defense at 26.0 percent, Seton Hall should get that revenge here, right? Well, in the immortal words of Lee Corso, “Not so fast my friend!”

You see, while we would normally favor a team with the better defense seeking revenge, DePaul is a legitimately bad matchup for the Pirates because the Blue Demons have a bigger lineup and even their big men shoot three-pointers well. In fact, starting center Tommy Hamilton is 16-for-36, 44.4 percent from beyond the arc at 6-foot-11, while the 6-foot-10 Forrest Robinson and 6-foot-6 Myke Henry are at 35.7 percent and 36.5 percent from downtown respectively.

Thus DePaul could effectively shoot over the excellent Seton Hall perimeter defense successfully, and that is not to mention the advantage the Blue Demons should have inside vs. a Pirates’ team that is ranked 165th in two-point defense.

Balanced DePaul Offense
DePaul has four starters averaging double-digits led by Billy Garrett, Jr. at 13.2 points per game (39.2 percent from three-point range), followed closely by Henry at 12.9 and then Hamilton at 11.3, and as mentioned the latter two can score from all points of the floor. That balance keyed the upset in Newark and could give Seton Hall fits again here.

Another outright upset and a season sweep by DePaul is entirely possible here, but our recommendation is to take the points with the Blue Demons when they host Seton Hall on Tuesday.

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NCAA Basketball Pick: DePaul +4 (-110)

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