NCAA Basketball Picks: Seton Hall to Cover vs. DePaul

Jeff Grant

Thursday, January 22, 2015 1:49 PM GMT

Seton Hall has played at a very high level at the Prudential Center in 2014-15, which makes it a top college basketball pick against DePaul Thursday night.

Covering Numbers
DePaul has put together a 4-2 SU and 6-0 ATS mark in Big East Conference play, which is important to consider when looking over the college basketball odds lines, as it prepares to open up a three-game, six-day road swing.

The Blue Demons rank first in the conference in knocking down 76 percent of their attempts from the charity stripe, while they sit behind just 94 teams nationally in getting to the line. It’s important to point out that the program is 5-6 SU and 7-4 ATS when tipping off as underdogs this year, with the OVER going 6-4 in 10 opportunities.

 

Welcome Back
After alternating wins and losses in its previous four affairs, Seton Hall was certainly happy to receive an eight-day break from live action, which has allowed head coach Kevin Willard to get his youthful roster refocused for the middle portion of conference play.

Pirates point guard Sterling Gibbs has scored 20-plus points in four of five Big East contests, which can’t be ignored when making your college basketball picks, as he’ll likely benefit the most from being off his legs after averaging 39.0 minutes over that span.  

Gibbs and backcourt mate Jaren Sina combined for zero turnovers in 79 minutes against Butler last time out—the first time in 49 games as a pair that neither player had a single giveaway.

Over the last two-plus seasons, the squad is 6-13 SU and 9-10 ATS in January.

 

Falling Short
The Blue Demons have dropped their last 49 games versus top-25 opponents, while also falling short in their last 24 affairs on the road in that situation. Since joining the Big East, the Blue Demons have lost all four road games versus the Pirates—surrendering an average of 83 points.

 

Guarding the Perimeter 
The Pirates rank fifth nationally in defending the arc, which includes holding their opponents to under 30 percent shooting from that area in all nine of their games at this venue.

Seton Hall will need to match those numbers in order to earn an against-the-spread victory, as DePaul scores 33.9 percent of its points from beyond the arc—trailing only 52 other teams in that statistical category.

 

Prediction
I’m going to recommend that readers back the Pirates as one of their basketball selections, as they’ve gone 2-0 ATS as home favorites of 9.5 to 12 points this year.

Free College Basketball Pick:  Seton Hall Pirates -10.5 at Bookmaker