UConn vs. Seton Hall prediction: how we’re betting this Big East matchup

Huskies have lost 4 of 5; Seton Hall has won 3 straight

UConn vs Seton Hall prediction
Connecticut forward Adama Sanogo (21) dunks in front of Alabama guard Jaden Bradley (0) and guard Jahvon Quinerly (5) during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in the Phil Knight Invitational tournament in Portland, Ore., Friday, Nov. 25, 2022. (AP Photo/Craig Mitchelldyer) The Associated Press

Before making a UConn vs. Seton Hall prediction, it’s important to put these two teams into context. 

Connecticut had the No. 2 spot in the AP Poll on Dec. 26 but has dropped four of five since. The once-dominant Huskies are now just 4-4 in Big East play. 

Meanwhile, Seton Hall has trended up. After a putrid 1-4 start to Big East play, the Pirates have won three straight. 

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But Seton Hall’s recent strength of schedule hasn’t been super, and UConn is begging for a “get right” spot. 

UConn vs. Seton Hall odds

Spread: UConn -5 (-110) vs. Seton Hall +5 (-110)

Moneyline: UConn (-225) vs. Seton Hall (+185)

Total: Over 135.5 (-110) | Under 135.5 (-110)

UConn vs. Seton Hall prediction

Under 135.5 (-110) at Caesars Sportsbook

Both defenses match up well. 

These teams love to play on the interior, either through the post or by attacking the rim. Specifically, UConn utilizes its all-Big East center Adama Sanogo while Seton Hall plays more through its guards.

But both teams also are elite at protecting the rim. Seton Hall’s KC Ndefo is one of the top rim protectors in the country (top 50 in block percentage, per KenPom), while 7-foot-2 Donovan Clingan backs up Sanogo. 

Per CBB Analytics, the Huskies and Pirates rank above the 82nd percentile of Division-I teams in field-goal percentage allowed at the rim. 

Also, these are two strong transition defenses. Especially Seton Hall, which ranks in the 87th percentile in transition points per possession allowed (.878). 

Essentially, neither team will get any easy buckets. Looks at the rim will be smothered, and no transition opportunities will be allowed. This alone pushes me toward the under. 

However, I’m extremely worried about Seton Hall’s offense Wednesday night. 

The Pirates have played better over the last week, especially offensively. For the first half of the season, Seton Hall couldn’t set a single ball screen without chaos breaking loose — there was zero cohesion on offense.

But Seton Hall’s improvements have come against bottom-tier Big East teams. It’s not hard to score and win against Butler, Georgetown and DePaul, and Seton Hall cracked 1.00 points per possession just once in those three wins. 

Connecticut will be a huge step up in talent, especially since the Huskies rank second in the Big East in effective field-goal percentage allowed. 

Meanwhile, the Huskies may struggle to create offense because both head coach Dan Hurley and associate head coach Kimani Young are sidelined with COVID, per John Fanta of CBB on FOX.

It’s hard to quantify how much a head coach means during a single game, but this news can’t help the Huskies’ chances.

Expect both teams to struggle to create points in this Big East matchup, and bet the under 135.5 accordingly.

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