The Santa Clara Broncos (3-7) will be at home in Leavey Center when they square off against the Valparaiso Crusaders (8-3). The Over/Under (O/U) for the game opened at 134.5 points with neither team favored. Action gets underway at 10 p.m. ET on Monday, December 18, 2017.
Valparaiso Crusaders vs. Santa Clara Broncos Free Preview
The Crusaders were blown out by the Northwestern Wildcats in their last outing, 84-50. Joe Burton had a solid performance for Valparaiso, leading the team in scoring with 16 points on 3-for-6 shooting. Northwestern had a turnover percentage of 9.1 (better than their season average of 15.3). Valparaiso, on the other hand, had a free throw rate of 0.333 (above their season average of 0.327).
In the Broncos last matchup, they were blown out by the No. 25 USC Trojans, 82-59. Josip Vrankic led Santa Clara in scoring with 15 points on 4-for-10 shooting. USC had an offensive rebounding percentage of 47.1 (above their season average of 33.0). Santa Clara, meanwhile, had a turnover percentage of 6.7 (better than their season average of 15.8).
The offense of Santa Clara will battle against the elite defense of Valparaiso. The Broncos currently rank 192nd in offensive efficiency, while the Crusaders are 16th in defensive efficiency. The Crusaders should have the edge on that end of the court.
These two teams are complete opposites in terms of the O/U total. Valparaiso games have finished under 75.0 percent of the time, while games featuring Santa Clara have finished over 57.1 percent of the time. The Crusaders come into this game with much better straight up (SU) and against the spread (ATS) records. They are 8-3 SU and 5-3 ATS, while the Broncos are 3-7 SU and 1-6 ATS.
Vrankic has taken his game to another level over the last five games for Santa Clara, averaging 13.4 points, 6.0 rebounds and 1.6 steals per game.
This will be the first matchup of the year between these two teams. The Broncos won the only game played against each other last season, 87-80. The Broncos 12.7 turnover percentage was their biggest strength over the Crusaders, who had a rate of 17.7.
Valparaiso Crusaders at Santa Clara Broncos Prediction
Predictions: SU Winner – Santa Clara, ATS Winner – Santa Clara, O/U – Over
- The Crusaders rank 41st in blocks allowed per game (2.7) while the Broncos rank 62nd (3.6).
- Santa Clara is 1-3 ATS at home, while Valparaiso is 4-2 ATS on the road.
- The total has gone under in 5 of the Crusaders 6 road games, while 3 of the Broncos 4 home games have gone over.
- Valparaiso ranks 24th in rebounds per game (40.7) while Santa Clara ranks 258th (29.9).
- The Broncos rank 60th in three pointers attempted per game (24.6) while the Crusaders rank 236th (18.3).
- Santa Clara is third in the nation with 4.4 steals allowed per game while Valparaiso is 27th with 5.0 steals allowed per game.
- Santa Clara is 1-3 ATS with 3 overs and 1 push in their last five games.
- Over their last five games, Valparaiso is 2-3 ATS with 5 unders.
- The Broncos average margin of victory in their last five games has been 1.4, up from 0.8 for the season.
- During their last five games, the Crusaders have scored an average of 64.2 points per game (11.6 below their season average) and allowed an average of 74.0 points per game (9.0 above their season average).