The Valparaiso Crusaders (9-5, 0-1 MVC) welcome the Missouri State Bears (11-3, 1-0 MVC) to Athletics-Recreation Center as they look to lengthen their seven-game home winning streak. Valparaiso opened as a 1-point favorite, while the games Over/Under (O/U) has been set at 139 points. Tip-off is scheduled for 4 p.m. ET on Sunday, December 31, 2017.
Missouri State Bears at Valparaiso Crusaders Free Preview
In the Bears last game, they beat the Loyola Chicago Ramblers, 64-59. Alize Johnson was the top scorer from either team with 24 points on 8-for-19 shooting. Missouri State played a nearly perfect game. They had a free throw rate of 0.235 (above their season average of 0.185) and an offensive rebounding percentage of 28.1 (below their season average of 35.8). Loyola Chicago was 0.192 and 23.3, respectively, for those same stats.
The Crusaders are hoping for a better outcome after their 73-64 loss to the Indiana State Sycamores in their last outing. With 19 points and five rebounds, Tevonn Walker had a solid outing for Valparaiso. Getting to the free throw line was one of Indiana State’s biggest strengths. They made 29 trips to the line, while Valparaiso went 17 times.
Baskets could be hard to come by in this matchup between a pair of the NCAA’s best defenses. Valparaiso ranks 33rd in defensive efficiency (92.6) and Missouri State is 47th (93.9).
Games including these teams tend to finish under the projected point total. Missouri State games have gone under 63.6 percent of the time, while 72.7 percent of Valparaiso games have gone under. The Bears have the clear advantage straight up (SU) (11-3 vs. 9-5), but both teams have the same against the spread (ATS) record (6-5).
This will be the first matchup of the year between these two teams, after the Crusaders won the lone game last season, 84-81. The Crusaders played a nearly perfect game. They had a phenomenal offensive rebounding percentage of 39.3 and a superb free throw rate of 0.268. For those same stats, the Bears were 29.4 and 0.213, respectively.
Missouri State Bears at Valparaiso Crusaders Betting Prediction
Predictions: SU Winner – Missouri State, ATS Winner – Missouri State, O/U – Under
- Both of these teams are exceptional at rebounding the ball. The Bears are 20th in the nation with 40.9 rebounds per game while the Crusaders are 59th with 38.9 rebounds per game.
- Valparaiso ranks 201st in three pointers attempted per game (19.7) while Missouri State ranks 228th (18.5).
- Missouri State is 4-3 ATS on the road, while Valparaiso is 1-1 ATS at home.
- The total has gone over in 1 of the Crusaders 2 home games, while 4 of the Bears 7 road games have gone under.
- Valparaiso ranks 45th in steals per game (7.8) while Missouri State ranks 182nd (4.9).
- The Crusaders rank 36th in blocks allowed per game (2.6) while the Bears rank 104th (3.6).
- Missouri State ranks 19th in assists allowed per game (10.2) while Valparaiso ranks 86th (12.4).
- Valparaiso is 2-3 ATS with 4 unders and 1 over in their last five games.
- Over their last five games, Missouri State is 2-2 ATS with 3 unders and 1 over.
- The Crusaders have been outscored by an average of 9.8 points in their last five games. On the season, Valparaiso has defeated opponents by an average of 7.5 points.
- During their last five games, the Bears have scored an average of 71.0 points per game (2.1 below their season average) and allowed an average of 63.0 points per game (0.4 above their season average).