How to Bet Holloway’s Debut

Monmouth vs. Seton Hall Odds

Before new Seton Hall coach Shaheen Holloway goes head-to-head with his old team — Saint Peter’s — over the weekend, he needs to win his season debut against a former MAAC team.

Will the Pirates upset the Hawks? Or should we aim for the total?

Dive below to find out.

Monmouth begins a new era in its program history. The Hawks bid farewell to the MAAC this offseason and joined the ever-growing Colonials, resulting in a huge increase in overall competition.

Head coach King Rice enters his 12th season at the helm after developing his program into a perennial MAAC contender.

The Hawks were an ATS darling last season, going 10-1 in non-conference and ranked 112th in KenPom. Rice had one of the most experienced rosters in the country in 2021-22, and it was clear his group was underrated by the masses.

This season’s group is nothing like last year’s.

Monmouth lost all five starters, including three All-MAAC honorees. Rice also brought in zero transfers to ease the loss of talent, instead opting to rebuild his program the traditional way — with high school recruits.

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The mass exodus — plus a lack of incoming talent — means we could see Monmouth hit a sharp snag this season. Many see the Hawks finishing near the AAC basement, and they face a big challenge on Wednesday against Seton Hall.

If anyone is familiar with the Monmouth Hawks, it’s Holloway, the new Seton Hall coach who led last year’s NCAA Tournament darling Saint Peter’s to an improbable Elite Eight berth.

Holloway coached four seasons in the MAAC, going 6-3 against Monmouth in that span, including a clean 3-0 last year. He is intimately familiar with Rice’s approach and should have his significantly more athletic and talented Pirates ready for battle.

Holloway’s Saint Peter’s teams were known for their brave and tenacious defence. Going to war with the Peacocks was like going to a real war.

Saint Peter’s ranked 25th nationally in Adjusted Defensive Efficiency last season, according to KenPom, and there’s every reason to believe Holloway can repeat or even improve on that ranking with a bigger, stronger roster. .

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The first thing to note about this Hall roster is its sheer length at all five positions.

With only two players under 6-foot-6 projected to be in the rotation, and a 6-foot-6 point guard in Kadary Richmond leading the offense, Seton Hall should be one of the most intimidating defensive teams in the country this season.

Monmouth’s significantly smaller backfield — a backfield with very little experience — should struggle in this game.

One caveat here is injuries. Seton Hall could be without key rotation pieces — Alexis Yetna and Jamir Harris — for this game.

Will it matter against a Monmouth team that can struggle out of the gate? Maybe no.

Monmouth vs. Seton Hall betting picks

With a giant spread like this, it’s hard to confidently recommend backing the favorite due to the injury concerns listed above and the pace Holloway has shown in the past.

At Saint Peter’s, Holloway’s teams were consistently among the slowest in the country in attack, and one of his key pieces this year – KC Ndefo – was groomed in that system.

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It’s possible that Holloway will bend his pace with a more talented roster against a Monmouth program that should A) beat him and B) have played at blistering speed under Rice in the past.

Rice is a smart coach, and he knows that going into a high-possession game with a superior opponent is a recipe for disaster. Because of this, it’s likely we’ll see him hit the breaks in the season opener as his green guards and forwards get used to the game.

So instead of picking a favorite, I’ve been eyeballing the bottom. Monmouth will struggle to score (barring any miracle outside of shooting day).

Holloway likely won’t stray too far from his preferred style and step on the gas pedal against a former peer.

The hope, of course, is that Monmouth can get enough stops and rebounds to prevent the Pirates from putting up a high number.

Select: Under 135.5

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