An eight-game home winning streak is on the line for the Missouri State Bears (14-5, 4-2 MVC) when they welcome the Valparaiso Crusaders (11-8, 2-4 MVC) to JQH Arena. The games Over/Under (O/U) opened at 139 points with Missouri State set as a 7.5-point favorite. Tip-off is scheduled for 8 p.m. ET on Wednesday, January 17, 2018, and it can be seen on ESPN 3.
Valparaiso Crusaders vs. Missouri State Bears Free Preview
The Crusaders lost to the UNI Panthers in their last game, 81-76. Valparaiso’s Markus Golder put up 18 points and six rebounds in the game. UNI did an excellent job of making free throws (31-38; 81.6 percent). Valparaiso, meanwhile, had a turnover percentage of 12.0 (better than their season average of 19.6).
In the Bears last matchup, they defeated the Indiana State Sycamores, 76-73. With 21 points on 7-for-11 shooting, Alize Johnson was the games leading scorer. The Bears had a much better offensive rebounding percentage (32.3 vs. 25.8) and had a free throw rate of 0.370 (above their season average of 0.192).
Points could be at a premium as a pair of the nations top defenses battle. Missouri State currently ranks 34th in defensive efficiency (94.8) and Valparaiso is 41st (95.6).
Games involving these teams tend to go under the O/U total. Valparaiso games have finished under 62.5 percent of the time, while 62.5 percent of Missouri State games have finished under. The Bears have the substantial advantage straight up (SU) (14-5 vs. 11-8), but both teams have the same against the spread (ATS) record (8-8).
Johnson has been impressive over the last five games for Missouri State, averaging 18.2 points and 13.8 rebounds per game.
These teams have already met once this season. In that game, the two teams combined for 117 points, well under the projected point total of 136.5. The Bears won 67-50, but were unable to cover as 0-point underdogs. The Bears played a nearly flawless game. They had a turnover percentage of 12.1 and a phenomenal offensive rebounding percentage of 33.3. The Crusaders were 22.6 and 20.0, respectively, for those same stats. Max Joseph was a top player in the game with 13 points and five rebounds.
Valparaiso Crusaders at Missouri State Bears Betting Prediction
Predictions: SU Winner – Valparaiso, ATS Winner – Valparaiso, O/U – Under
- Valparaiso is 5-6 ATS on the road, while Missouri State is 3-3 ATS at home.
- The total has gone under in 4 of the Bears 6 home games, while 7 of the Crusaders 11 road games have gone under.
- Valparaiso ranks 28th in steals per game (8.0) while Missouri State ranks 184th (4.9).
- The Bears rank 14th in assists allowed per game (10.2) while the Crusaders rank 133rd (13.5).
- Missouri State ranks 19th in rebounds per game (40.4) while Valparaiso ranks 104th (36.9).
- Missouri State is 2-3 ATS with 3 unders and 2 overs in their last five games.
- Over their last five games, Valparaiso is 2-3 ATS with 3 overs and 2 unders.
- The Bears average margin of victory in their last five games has been 2.8, down from 8.4 for the season.
- During their last five games, the Crusaders have scored an average of 71.4 points per game (1.8 below their season average) and allowed an average of 72.0 points per game (4.2 above their season average).