Big East College Basketball Picks: Seton Hall Pirates at #6 Villanova Wildcats

Seton Hall Pirates at #6 Villanova Wildcats
The Pavilion – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Friday, February 7, 2014, 7:00 pm Eastern, TV: Fox Sports 1
Opening Line: Villanova -12 1/2
Current Line: Villanova -12 1/2
Opening Total: 143
Current Total; 142 
Opening Money Line: Villanova -1000 / Seton Hall +670
Current Money Line: Villanova -1000 / Seton Hall +670

Villanova is a 12.5 point favorite at home against Seton Hall Friday night.
Villanova is a 12.5 point favorite at home against Seton Hall Friday night.

The 20-2 Villanova Wildcats are tied for the lead in the Big East at 8-1 with Creighton. The Wildcats have won 9 of their last 10 games including 4 straight games. Villanova hosts the 13-9 Seton Hall Pirates Friday night. The Pirates are 4-5 in the Big East and alone in sixth place.

Villanova leads the series against Seton Hall 65-38. The Wildcats have won 11 of the last 12 games against the Pirates including 83-67 January 8 in New Jersey. Villanova has also won 11 straight games at home against Seton Hall. The Pirates haven’t beaten the Wildcats in Philadelphia since 1994.

Seton Hall is coached by Kevin Willard. The Pirates have losses at Mercer, Oklahoma in a tournament in Brooklyn, Farleigh Dickinson, St. Peter’s, Creighton, Villanova, at Marquette, at St. John’s, and Butler. Seton Hall has key wins over Niagara, Kent State, Virginia Tech in Brooklyn, at Rutgers, Lafayette, at Providence, at Georgetown, DePaul, and at Xavier Saturday 68-60. The Pirates have alternated wins and losses for the last 7 games. Seton Hall is 11-10 ATS and the total is 13-8 this season.

Seton Hall is outscoring teams 76-71 this season. The Pirates are shooting 45.3% from the field and 36.6% from 3 point range. Seton Hall makes 73.5% of their free throws. Pirate opponents are shooting 43.4% from the field and 35.9% from 3 point range. Seton Hall averages 34 rebounds per game and opponents average 30.6 per game. The Pirates average 13.4 assists, 12.5 turnovers, 7.2 steals and 3.4 blocks per game. Opponents average 12.4 assists, 12.9 turnovers, 5.4 steals and 3.8 blocks per game.

Guard Sterling Gibbs averages 14.4 points, 3.4 rebounds, 4.4 assists, and 1.1 steals per game. Guard/forward Fuquan Edwin averages 14.3 points, 3.5 rebounds, 1.6 assists, and 3.1 steals per game. Guard/forward Brian Oliver is probable after being suspended for the Xavier game. He averages 12.2 points, 3.8 rebounds and 1.1 steals per game. Center Gene Teague averages 10.4 points, and 8.1 rebounds per game. Forward Patrik Auda averages 8.8 points, 4.7 rebounds and 1.3 assists per game. Forward Brandon Mobley averages 8.8 points, 5 rebounds and 1.1 blocks per game. Guard Jaren Sina averages 6.4 points, 1.4 rebounds and 2.7 assists per game. Stephane Manga, Tom Maayan, Aaron Geramipoor, and Haralds Karlis will also get significant time in the rotation.

Villanova is coached by Jay Wright. Villanova has losses at Syracuse and at home against Creighton. The Wildcats have key wins over Lafayette and Delaware at home, USC, Kansas, and Iowa (all three in a tournament in the Bahamas), Penn, LaSalle, at St. Joseph’s, at Butler, Providence, at Seton Hall, at St. Johns, DePaul, at Marquette, at Georgetown, at Temple, and Xavier 81-58 Monday night. The Wildcats are 15-5 ATS and the total is 14-6 this season.

Villanova is outscoring teams 81-68 this season. The Wildcats are #24 nationally in scoring. Villanova is shooting 46.2% from the field and 35.4% from 3 point range.The Wildcats make 72.2% of their free throws. Villanova opponents are shooting 40.3% from the field and 35.5% from 3 point range. The Wildcats average 38.2 rebounds per game and opponents average 28.9 per game. Villanova is 55th or better nationally in both categories. The Wildcats average 16.4 assists, 11.9 turnovers, 6.9 steals and 4.4 blocks per game. Opponents average 12.6 assists, 14.3 turnovers, 5.8 steals and 2.5 blocks per game.

Guard James Bell averages  15.8 points, 5.8 rebounds, 1.5 assists, and 1.2 steals per game. Forward JayVaughn Pinkston averages 14.7 points, 5.7 rebounds and 1.6 assists. Guard Darrun Hilliard II averages 13.7 points, 4 rebounds, 2.9 assists, and 1.3 steals per game. Guard Ryan Arcidiacono averages 9.7 points, 2.6 rebounds and 3.5 steals per game. Guard Josh Hart averages 8.5 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 1.1 assists per game. Guard Dylan Ennis averages 7 points, 2.1 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game. Forward Daniel Ochefu averages 5.6 points, 5.9 rebounds, 1.3 assists, and 1.6 blocks per game. Kris Jenkins and Tony Chennault will also get significant minutes.

Seton Hall is 5-1 ATS overall, and against Big East teams, 4-1 against teams with winning records, 16-5 in road games, 6-2 in Friday games, 19-7 against teams with winning home records, and 5-2 after a cover. The Pirates are 5-2 ATS in the last seven against the Wildcats, and Seton Hall was the underdog in each of those games.

Villanova is 17-5 ATS at home, 10-3 after a cover, 24-8 after a straight up win,  6-2 in Big East games, 21-8 against teams with winning records, 5-2 against teams with winning road records, 34-16-1 overall, and 7-19 in Friday games. The over is 7-3 in the last 10 games in this series.

Seton Hall had some really bad losses early in the season, but has played a lot better since Big East play began. Still, they aren’t as good as Villanova. The Wildcats routed the Pirates earlier in the season in New Jersey. Villanova wins at home.

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