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Rhode Island vs. Valparaiso - 11/17/15 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Valparaiso Crusaders (2-0) at Rhode Island Rams (1-0)

College Basketball: Tuesday, November 17, 2015 at 10:00 am (Thomas M. Ryan Center)

The Line: Rhode Island Rams +1 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds

TV: ESPN 2

The Valparaiso Crusaders will travel to the Thomas M. Ryan Center to take on the Rhode Island Rams this Tuesday morning in College Basketball action.

The Valparaiso Crusaders improved to 2-0 (0-0 Horizon League) on the season after defeating the Iona Gaels 83-58 this past Sunday. Valparaiso jumped all over Iona early in this one taking a 42-25 halftime lead and held the Gaels their lowest point total since the 2010-11 season. Valparaiso shot 42.6% from the field and 40.9% (9-22) from beyond the arc. The Crusaders held Iona to just 29.0% shooting from the field and 26.1% (6-23) from beyond the arc. Leading the way for the Valparaiso was Tevonn Walker who had 17 points and 3 assists. On the season, Valparaiso has been led by Alec Peters who is averaging 18.0 ppg, 7.0 rpg, and 2.0 spg and Shane Hammink who is averaging 13.0 ppg and 5.0 rpg. Valparaiso was a great defensive team last season holding opponents to an average of just 59.4 ppg (ranked 17th) and currently are holding their opponents to just 61.0 ppg this season.   

Rhode Island vs. Valparaiso - 11/17/15 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction

USA TODAY Sports

The Rhode Island Rams (1-0; 0-0 A-10) had little issue winning their first game of the season as they defeated the American Eagles, 65-42, this past Friday. Rhode Island shot 52.2% from the field however, did struggled form the FT line hitting just 41.9% (13-31) of their free-throws. Rhode Island was outstanding on the defense end as they held American to 34.8% shooting from the field and forced the Eagles to commit 17 turnovers. Leading the way for Rhode Island was Hassan Martin who had 10 points, 5 rebounds, and 3 steals. Rhode Island was projected to be one of the better A-10 teams after returning the majority of their 2014-15 squad that finished 23-10 however, did suffer a big blow in their season opener as they lost leading scorer in E.C. Matthews (16.9 ppg, 4.6 rpg) for the season due to an ACL injury. With the loss of Matthews, Rhode Island will need to depend on Hassan Martin (11.4 ppg, 7.7 rpg), Jared Terrell (9.2 ppg, 2.4 rpg) and Jarvis Garrett (6.4 ppg, 2.3 rpg, 2.8 apg) to keep them competitive.

The Crusaders are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games following a S.U. win and 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games overall. The Rams are 6-1 ATS in their last 7 home games however, just 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games following a S.U. win.

Rhode Island suffered a huge blow losing their leader E.C. Matthews in their home opener and although they are a very good team at home, I think it’s going to take the Rams a bit of time to find their offensive rhythm without their go-to player. Valparaiso is not only the favorite to win the Horizon but one of the better teams in the overall country who I think will crack the top-25 at some point this season. I think Valparaiso stays undefeated and picks up a big road win at Rhode Island. 

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Valparaiso Crusaders -1

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