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Valparaiso Crusaders vs. New Mexico Lobos - 12/6/14 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction

New Mexico Lobos (4-3) at Valparaiso Crusaders (7-1)

College Basketball: Saturday, December 6, 2014 at 8:05 pm (Athletics-Recreation Center)

The Line: Valparaiso Crusaders -5.5 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds

TV: ESPN 3

The New Mexico Lobos will travel to the Athletics-Recreation Center (ARC) this Saturday night to take on the Valparaiso Crusaders.

The New Mexico Lobos have struggled early on in the season, however, did improve their record to 4-3 this past Wednesday with a 62-47 victory against the New Mexico State Aggies. The Lobos have won at least 22 games in the past 8 seasons, however, if they plan to continue to have this level of success, Coach Craig Neil will need to get his squad playing better basketball. Leading the way for the Lobos this season has been Hugh Greenwood (10.6 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 3.7 apg), Cullen Neal (17.0 ppg), and Deshawn Delaney (13.0 ppg, 5.7 rpg). New Mexico’s offensive has struggled early on the season as they are averaging just 63.9ppg (ranked 256th) on 42.4% shooting (ranked 201st). On the defensive side, the Lobos have done a nice job as they are only giving up an average of 59.7 pps (ranked 61st) and although they only are grabbing 23.7 defensive rebounds per game (ranked 194th), they do have some interior presence as they are averaging 5.3 bpg (ranked 42nd).

Valparaiso Crusaders vs. New Mexico Lobos - 12/6/14 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction

USA TODAY Sports

The Valparaiso Crusaders won their seventh consecutive game this past Wednesday, with a 72-66 victory over the Eastern Kentucky Colonels, to improve to 8-1 on the season. The Crusaders won the game with defense as they held the Colonels, who were averaging 93.8 ppg prior to the game, to their lowest scoring output of the season as they were only able to shoot 36.1% from the field. Leading the way for the Crusaders was Alec Peters who was feeling it from long range as he hit 7 three pointers en route to 21 points. On the season the Crusaders have been led by Alec Peters (19.4 ppg, 5.8 rpg), Darien Walker (11.9 ppg, 3.7 rpg) and Tevonn Walker (10.0 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 1.9 apg). The Crusaders have been using the long-ball to hurt their opponents as they are shooting 42.5% from beyond the arc while putting up 181 3-PT FG attempts (ranked 18th) on the season. Defensively, Valparaiso has done well as they are holding their opponents to 58.7 ppg (ranked 45th) on 38.5% shooting (ranked 74th).

The Lobos are 2-5 ATS in their last 7 non-conference games and 35-17-1 ATS in their last 53 road games. The Crusaders are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 non-conference games, however, just 3-7 ATS in their last 10 home games.

New Mexico’s has had difficulty with what seemed to be a softer non-conference schedule largely due to having difficulties on the offensive end. The Crusaders have been good, however, I think New Mexico is going to give the Crusaders a tougher game than expected. I’m expecting Hugh Greenwood to have a big game and keep the Lobos close in this one. Take the Lobos and the points. 

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New Mexico Lobos +5.5

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