Villanova to Ruin Senior Night at Seton Hall

Willie Bee

Wednesday, February 28, 2018 12:12 PM UTC

Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2018 12:12 PM UTC

Seton Hall celebrates its seniors tonight, but one could be missing from the lineup. Can the Pirates upset the NCAA basketball odds without their leading scorer vs. No. 4 Villanova?

No. 4 Villanova (25-4 SU, 19-10 ATS) at Seton Hall (20-9 SU, 13-16 ATS)Free NCAAB Pick: Villanova -6Best Line Offered: 5Dimes

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For Villanova head coach Jay Wright, it must seem longer than three weeks ago that his Wildcats were No. 1 in the nation and atop the Big East with a 9-1 conference record. The ensuing 3-3 record has dropped Villanova down to 4/5 in the AP and coaches polls, respectively, and now need to win out plus get some help in order to claim the top seed for the Big East Tournament.

Wright and his Wildcats will have their hands full Wednesday night in New Jersey where they meet the Seton Hall Pirates. Kevin Willard and the Pirates are still trying to secure the No. 3 seed in the conference tourney and have won three in a row in advance of tonight’s tip (8:30 ET). BetOnline sees it Villanova -6, and the early scoreboard tally is 161½.

Hall An Underdog To ‘Nova For 23rd Straight Meeting

The season’s second meeting between the clubs finds Villanova shooting for its 5th straight win in the series. The Wildcats previously picked up a 92-76 decision in Philly a little more than three weeks ago, closing strong to cover as 12½-point favorites. The win gave ‘Nova a 73-41 lead in the rivalry. Last year’s clash in Newark saw the Wildcats shoot better than 67% in a 92-70 triumph, their second consecutive win at Prudential Center. ‘Under’ bettors have gone back to the pay window eight of the last 11 contests.

You have to go back to the 2004 Big East Tournament for the last time Villanova was an underdog on the NCAA basketball odds to Seton Hall, a stretch of 23 encounters including tonight’s tilt. And you have to go back to the Wildcats’ final two games of the 2012-13 campaign to find the last time they lost back-to-back games, a string of 175 games and counting. The Wildcats are coming off a loss at Creighton last Saturday, a back-&-forth affair that needed overtime before the Bluejays pulled off the 89-83 upset.

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We need all Pirates fans to be LOUD tomorrow night @PruCenter! #HALLin

— (@SetonHallMBB) February 27, 2018

Rodriguez Questionable For The Pirates

The biggest question for Seton Hall right now is whether leading scorer Desi Rodriguez play after injuring his ankle a week ago at Providence. The senior slipped on the court at Dunkin’ Donuts Center, and did not play in the continuation of that game the next day, nor did he play in Saturday’s 81-74 overtime win at St. John’s. Rodriguez, who had played in 126 straight games before sitting against the Red Storm, is averaging 18.1 points per game.

It is difficult to ignore ‘over’ trends on both sides, five of Villanova’s last six topping the marks, while each of Seton Hall’s last seven finished high. But ignore I will, and instead play ‘Nova for my free college basketball pick.

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