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 has to win his season opener against a former MAAC team.

Will the Pirates soften up the Falcons? Or should we target the whole?

Dive below to find out.

Monmouth is beginning a new era in its program history. The Hawks bid farewell to the MAAC this offseason and joined the ever-growing Colonial, resulting in a sharp 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 ATS darlings last season, going 10-1 in non-conference games and ranked as high as 112th in KenPom. Rice had one of the most experienced rosters in the country in 2021-22, and it was clear his team 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 struggle 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, the new Seton Hall coach who led last year’s NCAA Tournament favorite 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 mark last year. He is well-acquainted with Rice’s approach and should have his much more athletic and talented Pirates ready for battle.

St. Peter’s Holloway teams were known for their toughness and tenacious defense. Going to war with the Peacocks was like going to real war.

Saint Peter’s ranked 25th nationally in adjusted defensive efficiency last season, per 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 notice about this Hall roster is its great length at all five positions.

With only two players under 6 feet projected to be in the rotation and with a 6-foot 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 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 rotational pieces — Alexis Yetna and Jamir Harris — for this game.

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

Monmouth vs Seton Hall betting pick

With a huge spread like this, it’s hard to confidently back the favorite due to the injury concerns mentioned 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 on offense, and one of his key pieces this year — KC Ndefo — was covered in that system.

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It’s possible Holloway could turn his momentum around with a more talented roster against a Monmouth program that should A) overcome and B) have played incredibly 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. Because of this, we’re likely to see him hit the breaks early in the season as green guards and forwards get used to his game.

So instead of taking the favorite, I have my eyes on the underdog. Monmouth will struggle to score (barring any off-day miracle).

Holloway probably 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 keep the Pirates from putting up a high number.

Choose: Below 135.5

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