How to Bet Holloway’s Debut

Monmouth vs. Seton Hall Odds

Before new Seton Hall head coach Shaheen Holloway takes on his old team — Saint Peter’s — this weekend, he must win his season opener against a former MAAC team.

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

Dive in below to find out.

Monmouth is embarking on a new era in its program history. The Hawks waved goodbye to the MAAC this offseason and joined the ever-growing Colonial, resulting in a steep rise 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 favorite last season, going 10-1 in non-conference play and ranked as high as No. 112 in KenPom. Rice had one of the most experienced squads in the country in 2021-22, and it was clear that his group was underrated by the masses.

This season’s group does not resemble last year’s group at all.

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

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The mass exodus — plus a lack of new talent — means we could see Monmouth jump sharply this season. Many see the Hawks finishing near the CAA basement, and they face a big challenge on Wednesday against Seton Hall.

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

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

Holloway’s St. Peter’s teams were known for determination and tenacious defense. 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 and stronger roster.

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The first thing to note about this Hall roster is its 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 way, Seton Hall should be one of the most intimidating defensive teams in the country this season.

Monmouth’s significantly smaller backcourt — a backcourt with very little experience — should be overwhelmed in this game.

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

Will that matter against a Monmouth team that could struggle out of the gate? Probably not.

Monmouth vs. Seton Hall betting picks

With a giant spread like this, it’s hard to confidently recommend backing the favorite due to the aforementioned injury issues and the speed 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 players this year – KC Ndefo – was nurtured in that system.

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It’s possible that Holloway will pick up his pace with a more talented lineup against a program in Monmouth that A) should overpower, and B) played lightning fast under Rice in the past.

Rice is a smart coach and knows that going into a high possession game with a superior opponent is a recipe for disaster. That’s why it’s likely we’ll see him use the breaks in the season opener while his green guards and forwards acclimate to the game.

So instead of taking a favorite, I look below. Monmouth will struggle to score (barring any miracle outside of shooting day).

Holloway is unlikely to stray too far from his preferred style and step on the accelerator against his former peer.

The hope, of course, is that Monmouth can get enough stops and rebounds to keep the Pirates from scoring high.

To choose: Below 135.5

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