Troy vs. Seton Hall: Free-Throws the Difference for Pirates?

Darin Zank

Thursday, December 10, 2015 4:52 PM GMT

Thursday, Dec. 10, 2015 4:52 PM GMT

Seton Hall is on a 3-1 run against the NCAA basketball odds, while Troy is on a 1-5 fade. Can the Pirates cover 16 points against the Trojans Thursday night?

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NCAA Basketball Picks: Troy +16 & UNDER 149
Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes

Most of the NCAA basketball odds market for this game opened the Hall at about -16 over Troy, with a total of right around 151. In the early betting the line was holding steady, while the total dropped a point or two, to around 149.


The Situation
Troy (4-4 SU, 2-5 ATS) only returned two starters this season from a team that went 10-19 last season, and is expected to finish near the bottom in the Sun Belt Conference again.

The Trojans opened this season with consecutive wins, lost three in a row, won two straight, then last time out, last Saturday, lost outright at home to Austin Peay as a five-point favorite 80-71. The Trojans shot just 38 percent from the floor on the day, allowed the Governors to shoot 46 percent, and got outrebounded 42-31.

That was the fourth time in the last five games Troy lost the battle on the boards.

The Trojans began this season with a cover against South Florida, beating the Bulls SU as eight-point dogs, but since then they're 1-5 ATS.

Seton Hall (6-2 SU, 4-3 ATS), meanwhile, returned just two starters this season from a team that went 16-15 last year. The Pirates are picked to finish somewhere in the middle in the revamped Big East; fourth place would be nice.

The Hall started 2-0 this season, then suffered a mild upset at the hands of Long Beach State. The Pirates then won three straight, including victories over a pair of SEC schools, Ole Miss and Georgia, then lost to a pretty good George Washington team 72-64. But they bounced back last time out, winning at rival Rutgers 84-55, easily covering as six-point favorites.

Seton Hall only led the Knights by a bucket late into the first half, then rocked out from there, allowing just 20 points after halftime. On the day the Pirates shot 47 percent from the floor, held Rutgers to just 33 percent shooting, and won the battle on the glass 53-32.


Totals Trends
Troy is 4-3 on the OVERS this season, as Trojans games have averaged 152 points

Seton Hall, on the other hand, is 5-2 on the UNDERS, as Pirates games have averaged 138 points.


Final Analysis
Seton Hall shoots the ball better than Troy, does a better job on the boards, and owns a better record while playing a tougher schedule. So we're fairly certain the Pirates are going to win this game. But they do have one problem; they're shooting just 64 percent from the free-throw line. And missed free-throws can prove very costly when trying to cover 16 points. We like the Trojans for the first of our NCAA basketball picks, plus those points. Also, Seton Hall has played five UNDERS in a row, and only one of those totals was as high as today's.

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