Texas vs. Seton Hall NCAA Basketball Odds, Preview and Prediction

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Jared Rhoden #14 of the Seton Hall Pirates. Mark Brown/Getty Images/AFP

Where Thursday’s college basketball betting slate is lacking in length, it makes up for in substance with several key matchups, including a top battle in the Big 12/Big East Challenge where the Texas Longhorns tangle with the Seton Hall Pirates.

Texas Longhorns vs. Seton Hall Pirates 

Thursday, December 09, 2021 – 06:30 PM EST at Prudential Center 

Finals and the upcoming Christmas break have schedules being scaled back, and this game will be one of the last big ones before conference play for both Texas and Seton Hall. The Longhorns held steady at No. 6 in the AP poll but were dropped three rungs to No. 11 by the coaches in the latest rankings. The Pirates climbed two spots to No. 23 in the AP and cracked the coaches' ranks at No. 25.

The conferences split the two NCAAB scores on Wednesday to leave the Big East up 4-3 in this year’s event. Most interconference challenges take place in a few days, but the Big 12 and Big East prefer to spread the matchups out over a few weeks. Just two more games are left after tonight’s tilt, Villanova and Baylor this Sunday and TCU at Georgetown on December 18th. 

'Horns Fifth in the Country Allowing 55.3 PPG 

This one really should have the feel of a sweet 16 matchup, and online sports betting sites see it as a close contest with Texas favored by 2-2½. With a couple of the country’s best defenses, the total is running 135-135½. 

It’s not like the Longhorns played poorly in the last week to warrant dropping three places in the coaches' poll, but more of a reflection of the competition Chris Beard’s bunch has been going up against. This clash with Seton Hall represents the first true test for Texas since falling on the road at Gonzaga in the second game of the season, a 12-point setback that remains the only loss. 

Texas has been at home since the loss at Gonzaga, all five subsequent contests closing with the Longhorns favored by 21 points or more. They managed to cover three of those games, including last Friday’s tilt against their sister school down in the Rio Grande Valley. The oddsmakers at Heritage Sports (visit our Heritage Sports Review) had Texas giving up 25½ to the Vaqueros, and the 88-58 final is misleading after the Longhorns forgot about playing defense in the first half this past Friday. 

Pirates Have 10-Game Non-con Win Streak 

Kevin Willard and the Pirates haven’t exactly been playing a tough schedule the last couple of weeks either. Seton Hall was favored in both games at the Fort Myers Tip-Off during Thanksgiving week, falling to Ohio State and beating California. The Pirates struggled to find the net in both games, combining to shoot 36% (41-113) overall and just 22% (9-41) from beyond the arc

That was followed by another lackluster effort in an 84-70 decision over Bethune-Cookman. The Wildcats, who were 31½-point underdogs at top-rated sportsbooks, actually led at the half before Seton Hall got its act together. Alexis Yetna posted a double-double (14 pts, 13 rebs) for the Pirates, while Jamir Harris and Tyrese Samuel each scored 11 off the bench. 

Seton Hall’s most recent contest this past Saturday didn’t even make the board for bettors. Facing Division-II Nyack College, the Pirates found themselves in a game for the first 8-9 minutes or so before pulling away for a 113-67 rout.  

Schools Meeting for the Fourth Time in Fourth Different Arena  

It has been a little more than 14 years since the Longhorns last played at the Prudential Center, and even longer since Texas and Seton Hall met. The Longhorns won the StubHub Legends Classic in Newark in November 2007, roughly a month after the Prudential Center opened, routing the Tennessee Volunteers 97-78 in the championship as small underdogs on the college basketball odds

Seton Hall hosted Texas at the old Continental Airlines Arena in December 2004, and the then-No. 18 Longhorns posted a 70-62 win over the unranked Pirates. That was the second win in a row over Seton Hall for Texas after beating the Pirates 78-61 at Reliant Stadium in Houston two years earlier. The Pirates won the only other meeting in December 1969, nipping the Longhorns by a 56-55 count. 

We saw a solid defensive battle in this challenge on Wednesday night when Connecticut and West Virginia barely eclipsed 100 points together. As good as their defenses are, I simply don’t see a repeat of that for the Longhorns and Pirates, leading me to a college basketball pick on tonight’s final just skipping past the mark. 

NCAAB Pick: Over 135 (-105) with BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review)

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Over 135 (-105)
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*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.