College Basketball Picks: South Florida vs. Seton Hall Odds

Doc MosemanCorrespondent IMarch 11, 2013

DAYTON, OH - MARCH 14:  Victor Rudd Jr. #2 of the South Florida Bulls reacts in the first half against the California Golden Bears in the first round of the 2011 NCAA men's basketball tournament at UD Arena on March 14, 2012 in Dayton, Ohio.  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

This year’s Big East Tournament kicks off on Tuesday night with a first-round matchup between the South Florida Bulls and the Seton Hall Pirates. All the action from Madison Square Garden is slated to get underway at 7 p.m. (ET) broadcast nationally on ESPNU.

South Florida stumbled its way to a No.13 seed for this tournament by virtue of posting just three straight-up victories in Big East play this season. It is 12-18 SU overall and 11-18 against the spread. The total has stayed “under” in four of its last six games.

The Pirates did not fare any better this year with a 3-15 SU record in conference play, and they ended up 14-17 SU on the year after losing 11 of their last 12 games. They went 10-13-1 ATS this season and the total went “over” in four of their last six games.

South Florida vs. Seton Hall Betting Storylines

The Bulls have been one of the worst offensive teams in the nation this year, with an average of just 59.3 points a game, while shooting a woeful 39.5 percent from the field and 31.8 percent from three-point range. Victor Rudd (12.3 points) and Toarlyn Fitzpatrick (10 points) are the only two real scoring threats on the team, but neither is shooting better than 40 percent from the floor.

The only real claim to fame for South Florida has been a defensive effort that is holding opposing teams to 62.7 points a game. This has helped to keep the team competitive against the bottom half of the conference, which clearly applies to this contest.

Seton Hall may have just one SU win in its last 12 games, but it came against Villanova on February 25 as a four-point home underdog. This is another team that has had a hard time putting points on the board this season with an average of 65.4 points a game, but it has done a better job than the Bulls shooting the ball with a 43.5 field goal percentage.

The Pirates have a legitimate scorer in Fuquan Edwin. He leads the team with 16.6 points a game, and the Pirates have two other players scoring in double-figures.

Their offensive production took a hit earlier this season when Brandon Mobley went down with a shoulder injury. They will also rely on a stiff defense to try and advance on to Wednesday’s second round against No. 5 seed Syracuse. Seton Hall has been able to hold teams to an average of 58.2 points in neutral-site games this year.

South Florida vs. Seton Hall College Basketball Betting Odds and Trends by BetOnline

Seton Hall has been opened by BetOnline as a 1.5-point favorite in this Big East Tournament opener with the “over/under” line still listed as “off”.

The Bulls are 3-7 ATS in their last 10 neutral-site games and 4-9 ATS in their last 13 conference games. The total has stayed under in 20 of their last 27 games against the Big East.

The Pirates are 1-4 ATS in their last five games against teams with a losing record and 10-25 ATS in their last 35 games played at a neutral site. The total has gone over in five of their last seven games against a team with a losing record.

Seton Hall has covered the spread in eight of the last 10 meetings in this series, a total that has stayed under in four of the last five games. These two spit the season series, with each winning SU and ATS at home, with the total staying under in both games.

College Basketball Picks: South Florida vs. Seton Hall Betting Predictions

Neither of these teams is going anywhere after Tuesday night as they will be a brisk warm up for the Orange’s quarterfinal matchup against Pitt on Thursday. However, if you are looking to play a side in this game, stick with Seton Hall to win and cover the points.

They are a slightly better all-around team and have the better track record in tournament play.

Take #570 Seton Hall (-1.5) over South Florida; Tuesday, March 12, 7 p.m.