The Bradley Braves (11-4, 1-1 MVC) will attempt to prolong their five-game home winning streak in a matchup against the Valparaiso Crusaders (9-6, 0-2 MVC) at Carver Arena. The Over/Under (O/U) for the game has been set at 134 points with Bradley opening as a 6.5-point favorite. Tip-off is scheduled for 8 p.m. ET on Wednesday, January 3, 2018.
Valparaiso Crusaders at Bradley Braves Free Preview
The Crusaders lost to the Missouri State Bears in their last game, 67-50. Valparaiso’s Max Joseph put together a good game, leading the team in scoring with 13 points on 4-for-7 shooting. Missouri State had a turnover percentage of 12.1 (better than their season average of 15.3). Valparaiso, on the other hand, had a better free throw rate (0.283 vs. 0.220).
The last time the Braves played, they blew out the UNI Panthers, 72-53. Bradley was lifted by Darrell Brown, who was the top scorer from either team with 24 points on 8-for-15 shooting. Bradley played a flawless game. They had a phenomenal free throw rate of 0.354 (above their season average of 0.237) and a turnover percentage of 13.7 (better than their season average of 19.4). UNI had marks of 0.163 and 19.3, respectively, for those same stats.
Baskets could be hard to come by as a pair of the nations best defenses go head-to-head. Bradley ranks 18th in defensive efficiency (90.9) and Valparaiso is 46th (93.5). It could also be a sloppy game for the offense of the Crusaders, which ranks 333rd in ball protection (turnover percentage of 22.9 percent). They’ll be going up against the stingy defense of the Braves, which forces the 45th-most turnovers in the NCAA (22.6 percent).
Both of these teams have typically gone under the projected point total. Valparaiso games have gone under 75.0 percent of the time, while 84.6 percent of games including Bradley have gone under. The Braves come into this game with much better straight up (SU) and against the spread (ATS) records. They are 11-4 SU and 8-4-1 ATS, while the Crusaders are 9-6 SU and 6-6 ATS.
Brown has been impressive over the last five games for Bradley, averaging 15.0 points and 5.0 assists per game.
Valparaiso Crusaders vs. Bradley Braves Prediction
Predictions: SU Winner – Bradley, ATS Winner – Bradley, O/U – Over
- Bradley is seventh in the NCAA with 2.0 blocks allowed per game while Valparaiso is 50th with 2.8 blocks allowed per game. Valparaiso Crusaders at Bradley Braves ATS Odds
- The Crusaders rank 47th in steals per game (7.7) while the Braves rank 89th in steals allowed per game (6.2).
- Valparaiso ranks 205th in three pointers attempted per game (19.7) while Bradley ranks 236th (18.3).
- The Braves average margin of victory in their last five games has been 5.6, down from 8.2 for the season.
- During their last five games, the Crusaders have scored an average of 60.0 points per game (12.3 below their season average) and allowed an average of 73.0 points per game (6.6 above their season average).