The Valparaiso Crusaders (8-0) look to remain unbeaten when they go head-to-head with the No. 21 Purdue Boilermakers (8-2) at Mackey Arena. Purdue is a 15.5-point favorite on the opening line, while the Over/Under (O/U) for the game opened at 148.5 points. Tip-off is set for 6:30 p.m. ET on Thursday, December 7, 2017.
Valparaiso Crusaders vs. Purdue Boilermakers Free Preview
The last time the Crusaders played, they beat the Utah State Aggies, 72-65. Tevonn Walker was the top scorer from either team with 25 points on 10-for-17 shooting. Valparaiso dominated nearly every facet of the game. They had a phenomenal offensive rebounding percentage of 41.0 (above their season average of 36.8) and a free throw rate of 0.295 (matching their season average). For those same stats, Utah State was 34.0 and 0.258, respectively.
The Boilermakers hope to keep it rolling after topping the Northwestern Wildcats in their last game, 74-69. With 26 points on 8-for-13 shooting, Isaac Haas was the games leading scorer. The Boilermakers had a much better free throw rate (0.302 vs. 0.048) and had a better effective field goal percentage (0.547 vs. 0.524).
The game should be a battle of strength against strength as the high-octane offense of Purdue takes on the top-notch defense of Valparaiso. Since last season, the Boilermakers rank third in offensive efficiency, while the Crusaders are 23rd in defensive efficiency. Additionally, the Crusaders have been among the NCAA’s best at getting to the line, ranking 24th in free throw attempt (FTA) rate (0.304). The Boilermakers, however, rank fifth in opponents FTA rate (0.162).
In terms of the O/U total, these teams are complete opposites. Games including Valparaiso have gone under 60.0 percent of the time, while Purdue games have gone over 55.6 percent of the time. The Crusaders hold the significant advantage straight up (SU) (8-0 vs. 8-2), but the Boilermakers have the better against the spread (ATS) record (6-3 vs. 4-1).
Valparaiso Crusaders vs. Purdue Boilermakers Prediction
Predictions: SU Winner – Purdue, ATS Winner – Valparaiso, O/U – Under
Betting Notes (2016-Present):
- The Crusaders rank 40th in rebounds per game (38.9) while the Boilermakers rank 141st in rebounds allowed per game (31.9).
- Purdue ranks 44th in steals allowed per game (6.2) while Valparaiso ranks 90th (5.7).
- Purdue ranks eighth in assists per game (18.2) while Valparaiso ranks 204th (13.0).
- The Boilermakers rank 10th in blocks per game (3.2) while the Crusaders rank 179th (3.0).
- Purdue ranks 117th in three pointers attempted per game (22.4) while Valparaiso ranks 224th in three pointers allowed per game (22.7).