Expect a defensive battle when the Valparaiso Crusaders (8-2) and Northwestern Wildcats (6-4) go head-to-head at Allstate Arena. The games Over/Under (O/U) has been set at 139.5 points with Northwestern opening as a 9-point favorite. Action begins at 8 p.m. ET on Thursday, December 14, 2017.
Valparaiso Crusaders vs. Northwestern Wildcats ATS Preview
In the Crusaders last contest, they lost a close one to the Ball State Cardinals, 71-70. Valparaiso’s Bakari Evelyn put together a good game, putting up 14 points, six assists and five rebounds. Ball State forced the Crusaders into a turnover percentage of 22.8 (above their season average of 17.5). Valparaiso, meanwhile, did an excellent job of converting from the free throw line (13-18; 72.2 percent).
The Wildcats come in on a high note after blowing out the Chicago State Cougars in their last contest, 96-31. Northwestern was led by Dererk Pardon, who contributed 13 points and eight rebounds. Northwestern dominated every stat category in the game. They had a ridiculous effective field goal percentage of 0.600 (above their season average of 0.505) and a turnover percentage of 12.3 (better than their season average of 15.7). Chicago State was 0.212 and 33.9, respectively, for those same stats.
Northwestern might have difficulty putting up points as they clash against one of the NCAA’s best defenses. Valparaiso ranks fourth in defensive efficiency while the Wildcats rank 157th in offensive efficiency. Also, the Crusaders rank 53rd in offensive rebounding percentage (34.6 percent), while the Wildcats rank 22nd in defensive rebounding percentage (76.5 percent).
Of Valparaiso’s 7 games with betting action, five have finished under the O/U total, while 4 of Northwestern’s 8 games have finished under the projected point total. Looking at straight up (SU) and against the spread (ATS) records, the Crusaders have a clear advantage. They are 8-2 SU and 5-2 ATS, while the Wildcats are 6-4 SU and 3-5 ATS.
Valparaiso Crusaders vs. Northwestern Wildcats Betting PredictionPredictions: SU Winner – Northwestern, ATS Winner – Valparaiso, O/U – Under
- The Wildcats rank 43rd in blocks per game (4.6) while the Crusaders rank 102nd (3.4).
- Valparaiso ranks 12th in rebounds per game (41.9) while Northwestern ranks 244th (32.4).
- The Wildcats rank 15th in three pointers allowed per game (17.1) while the Crusaders rank 200th (23.9).
- Valparaiso ranks 14th in steals allowed per game (4.6) while Northwestern ranks 84th (5.9).
- The Wildcats average margin of victory in their last five games has been 18.8, up from 7.5 for the season.
- During their last five games, the Crusaders have scored an average of 69.6 points per game (8.8 below their season average) and allowed an average of 70.6 points per game (7.5 above their season average).