The Drake Bulldogs (16-14, 10-7 MVC) and Valparaiso Crusaders (14-16, 5-12 MVC) will go head-to-head at Knapp Center to wrap up the regular season. Action begins at 1 p.m. ET on Saturday, February 24, 2018.
Valparaiso Crusaders vs. Drake Bulldogs ATS Preview
In the Crusaders last matchup, they fell to the UNI Panthers, 68-63. Markus Golder had a solid performance for Valparaiso, recording 14 points and five rebounds. UNI had a free throw rate of 0.579 (above their season average of 0.221). Valparaiso, on the other hand, held the Panthers to an offensive rebounding percentage of 20.8 (below the 27.1 mark opponents have averaged against Valparaiso this season).
The Bulldogs are hoping for a better outcome after their 89-81 loss to the Illinois State Redbirds in their last contest. Reed Timmer was the games leading scorer with 26 points on 9-for-22 shooting. Illinois State held the Bulldogs to an effective field goal percentage of 0.408 (below their season average of 0.524). Drake, meanwhile, had an offensive rebounding percentage of 30.2 (above their season average of 23.0).
The offense of Drake (187th in the nation with an offensive efficiency of 105.6) will go head-to-head against the top-notch defense of Valparaiso (49th in the nation with a defensive efficiency of 98.0). The Crusaders should have the advantage on that side of the ball.
Both teams have had a player heat up over their last five games. For the Crusaders, it’s been Bakari Evelyn, who has averaged 14.8 points and 3.2 assists, while the Bulldogs have received solid contributions from Timmer (24.4 points).
These teams have already met once this season. The Crusaders won 77-60. The Crusaders 22.7 offensive rebounding percentage was their biggest strength over the Bulldogs, who had a rate of 13.8. Tevonn Walker scored a game-high 26 points.
Valparaiso Crusaders at Drake Bulldogs Free Prediction
Free College Basketball Pick: SU Winner – Valparaiso, ATS Winner – Valparaiso, O/U – Over
- The Crusaders rank 35th in blocks allowed per game (2.6) while the Bulldogs rank 114th (3.5).
- Valparaiso averages 34.8 rebounds per game, which ranks 180th in the nation. Drake ranks 186th in rebounds allowed per game (35.6).
- Valparaiso ranks 31st in three pointers allowed per game (19.1) while Drake ranks 205th (23.4).
- The Crusaders rank 99th in assists allowed per game (12.7) while the Bulldogs rank 240th (15.3).
- Valparaiso ranks 35th in steals per game (7.6) while Drake ranks 152nd (6.0).
- The Bulldogs average margin of victory in their last five games has been 0.4, down from 0.7 for the season.
- During their last five games, the Crusaders have scored an average of 68.8 points per game (1.3 below their season average) and allowed an average of 66.6 points per game (1.2 below their season average).