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College basketball odds and betting picks for Thursday (12/9)

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The 2021-22 college basketball season is in full swing, and the nonconference schedule is loaded with matchups between the top teams in the country. Below is my analysis and favorite bet for Thursday’s slate.

 

 

Seton Hall vs. Texas

(Line: Texas -2, DraftKings Sportsbook)

I will be in attendance at the Rock for this one as No. 7 Texas comes to Newark to battle No. 23 Seton Hall. This game has me all in my feels as I am an obvious NJ homer and root for the Hall, but at the same time I’ve openly expressed being “all-in” on this Longhorns team this year. Bottom line is when gambling is involved, you root for the team you bet on so I will be throwing up the two-finger horns all night. This is Texas’s first real test after failing in a big way against Gonzaga earlier in November. But stylistically, I don’t see Seton Hall being able to exploit Texas’s weakness the same way and ultimately this could be the spot the Longhorns show the country they can be considered in the same tier as the elite.

Clearly Texas’s interior defense is their soft spot (hello Drew Timme’s 37-point performance), especially with big man Dylan Disu yet to make his season debut. Yet the majority of Seton Hall’s shots come from jump shots and three pointers, and they don’t have the interior scoring to take advantage of Texas’s lack of rim protection. The Longhorns have the clear advantage in the backcourt through Marcus Carr, Courtney Ramey and Andrew Jones. What Seton Hall wants to do defensively is use their length to disrupt opposing ball handlers and funnel them to the rim where they are elite at protecting the rim. Texas has the playmakers in the back court to combat Seton Hall’s length and should be able to breakdown the defense and generate enough open looks (shooting 39% from three). I still am a big believer of this Texas team as their chemistry continues to grow throughout the season behind Chris Beard and his patented no-middle defense. Seton Hall matches up well against teams where they can match their physicality in the paint and use their defensive length to disrupt ball handlers, but they don’t have those advantages against this very well-balanced Texas squad with an elite backcourt. The Longhorns are primed for a marquee win.

The Pick: Texas -2

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