NCAA Basketball Pick: Villanova, Seton Hall ‘under’ 130

LT Profits Sports Group

Monday, February 25, 2013 5:00 AM GMT

Villanova kept its NCAA at large hopes alive with a win vs. Marquette last time out, but the Wildcats are not a good shooting team and Seton Hall has struggled with its shooting also.

It could be an offensive struggle on both sides on Monday night when the Villanova Wildcats (18-10, 6-5 away) pay a visit to the Seton Hall Pirates (13-15, 8-6 home) at the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ at 9:00 ET in a game televised nationally on ESPNU.

The posted total at 5 Dimes is 130 for this contest with the current odds on the ‘under’ set at -106.

Villanova kept its NCAA Tournament at-large bid hopes alive with a 60-56 home win over Marquette on Saturday, giving the Wildcats five wins in the last six games. That win over a Golden Eagles team ranked 23rd on the Pomeroy Ratings was only the third win all season vs. a team ranked in the Pomeroy Top 40 by Villanova, which at 18-10 is tied for seventh in the Big East with a 9-6 conference mark.

The Wildcats did get some nice national exposure for the other two big wins though, as they came in consecutive games vs. a couple of top 10 teams in Louisville and Syracuse last month, and now the Cats hope that this latest surge has caught the attention of the NCAA selection committee.

Villanova has been winning with defense, as the Wildcats forced 19 turnovers vs. Marquette and have held their last five opponents to an average of just 57.6 points on a mere 39.8 percent shooting. That leaves the Wildcats 31st in the country in defensive efficiency and they are fourth in the Big East during conference play in effective field goal percentage allowed at 45.0 percent, thanks to ranking second in two-point defense at only 41.5 percent.

Then again, Villanova has to win with defense because it is such a poor shooting team, which is why the ‘under’ is 15-8 in all Wildcats’ games that has had a posted total this season. Villanova ranks a poor 205th nationally in effective shooting percentage and 263rd in two-point shooting at 45.3 percent. As if that was not enough cause for alarm, the Wildcats are very mistake-prone, ranking 289th in offensive turnover percentage.

Luckily, the Cats are not facing an offensive juggernaut tonight in the Pirates, who enter this contest on a nine-game losing streak and are a dismal 2-13 in Big East play. Seton Hall ranks 132nd in the country in offensive efficiency and 74th in effective field goal percentage, but the plain fact of the matter is that the Pirates are not even that good.

You see, Seton Hall went 11-2 during non-conference play while feasting on a cupcake schedule that is ranked 326th in non-conference SOS according to Pomeroy. The Pirates’ true colors have come out during conference play, where they rank 14th out of 15 Big East schools in offensive efficiency and dead last in offensive turnover percentage.

The ‘under’ is also 8-2 on the last 10 Seton Hall home games and we expect more or the same with weak shooting by both teams on Monday.

[gameodds]14/222144/19-238-93-92-1096/us[/gameodds]

NCAA Basketball Pick: Villanova, Seton Hall ‘under’ 130 (-106)