Wagner vs. Sacred Heart Prediction, Odds and Key Players for NEC Quarterfinals (Take the Under)

College basketball betting preview, prediction and best bet for Wagner-Sacred Heart.

Dec 16, 2023; Providence, Rhode Island, USA; Providence Friars guard Garwey Dual (3) shoots the ball against Sacred Heart.
Dec 16, 2023; Providence, Rhode Island, USA; Providence Friars guard Garwey Dual (3) shoots the ball against Sacred Heart. / Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports

The Northeast Conference (NEC) tournament tips off Wednesday with four first-round, quarterfinal matchups. First up, the Sacred Heart Pioneers will face the Wagner Seahawks after finishing the regular season on a tear. Sacred Heart has won four of its last five games and is a modest favorite Wednesday night in Fairfield, Connecticut. 

Wagner is trying to avoid an 0-3 season against Sacred Heart after dropping both regular-season contests. The Seahawks finished the regular season differently, dropping four of their last five contests to fall to sixth in the NEC. Can they hang within the number on Wednesday night? Here’s the betting preview for the conference clash with a best bet. 

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Wagner vs. Sacred Heart Odds, Spread and Total

Wagner vs. Sacred Heart Betting Trends

  • Wagner is 11-15 ATS this season
  • Sacred Heart is 16-13 ATS this season
  • Wagner is 6-7 ATS as an underdog this season
  • Sacred Heart is 11-8 ATS as a favorite this season
  • The OVER is 10-16 in Wagner games this season
  • The OVER is 16-13 in Sacred Heart games this season

Wagner vs. Sacred Heart How to Watch

  • Date: Wednesday, March 6
  • Game time: 7 p.m. EST
  • Venue: William H. Pitt Center
  • How to watch (TV): Fubo
  • Wagner record: 13-15
  • Sacred Heart record: 16-15

Wagner vs. Sacred Heart Key Players to Watch


Melvin Council Jr.: The 6-foot-4 junior guard is a stat-stuffer for the Seahawks as the team’s leading scorer (15.3 points per game) and rebounder (5.8) while adding 3.6 assists and 1.4 steals per night. Council ended the regular season by scoring 16-plus points in five of the last six games, though he’s shooting less than 40% from the field this season. Council attempts 14.6 field goals per game, the most in the NEC. 

Sacred Heart 

Alex Sobel: A dominant forward in the NEC, Sobel averages 12.1 points per game. He’s fourth in the NEC in rebounds (7.3) and leads the league in blocks (2.8). Sobel turned in back-to-back doubles to end the regular season, combining for 32 points on 14-of-21 shooting and 22 rebounds in wins over Merrimack and Stonehill. 

Wagner vs. Sacred Heart Prediction and Pick 

In two regular season matchups, Sacred Heart smothered the Wagner offense, holding the Seahawks to 37.9% from the field (41-of-108), 28.9% from downtown (13-of-45), and 57 points per game. That’s been a common theme for Wagner, which is last in the NEC in shooting (38.9%) and is one of the worst offenses in the nation. 

Per KenPom, Wagner is No. 341 in offensive efficiency, No. 353 in effective field goal percentage, and No. 359 in 2-point shooting. The Sacred Heart defense’s top priority will be on the glass. Wagner is No. 2 in the NEC in offensive rebounds per game (11.4) and Sacred Heart is No. 8 in the league in defensive rebounding. 

On the other side of the ball, it’s strength-on-strength between Sacred Heart’s offense and Wagner’s defense. Sacred Heart is No. 1 in the conference in most major metrics - efficiency, effective field goal percentage and turnover percentage- but are at their best beyond the arc. The Pioneers are No. 66 in 3-point shooting, but Wagner is No. 18 in the nation defending the perimeter. With both defenses playing well, it’s fair to project Wednesday’s matchup trending toward the other two meetings, when the two teams averaged 121.5 points per game. Go with the under in this tournament opener. 

Game odds update periodically and are subject to change.