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Oakland vs. Valparaiso - 1/8/16 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Valparaiso Crusaders (11-3) at Oakland Grizzlies (9-6)

College Basketball: Friday, January 8, 2016 at 7:00 pm (Athletics Center Orena)

The Line: Oakland Grizzlies +1.5 -- Over/Under: 152 See the Latest Odds

TV: ESPN 2

The Valparaiso Crusaders will travel to Athletics Center O’rena to take ok the Oakland Golden Grizzlies this Friday night in College Basketball action.

The Valparaiso Crusaders improved to 11-3 (1-0 Horizon) on the season after easily defeating the UIC Flames, 75-47, this past Saturday. Valparaiso was outstanding defensively in the contest and had little trouble securing the victory after taking a 37-30 halftime lead. Valparaiso shot 46.3% from the field and 47.1% (8-17) from beyond the arc. The Crusaders held the Flames to 30.5% shooting from the field and outrebounded UIC by a 43-34 margin. Leading the way for Valparaiso was Keith Carter who had 15 points, 3 rebounds, 4 assists, and 3 steals. On the season, the Crusaders have been led by Alec Peters (16.6 ppg, 7.2 rpg, 1.0 apg), Tevonn Walker (11.4 ppg, 2.9 rpg, 1.8 apg, 1.0 spg), and Keith Carter (9.8 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 4.0 apg, 1.8 spg). Offensively, Valparaiso is averaging 72.4 ppg on 43.5% shooting from the field and 35.3% shooting from beyond the arc. The Crusaders average 7.6 three-pointers per game and have an assist/turnover ratio of 1.02. Defensively, Valparaiso is holding their opponents to an average of 57.7 ppg on 37.1% shooting. The Crusaders have a rebound margin of 5.8 and a turnover margin of 2.7.

Oakland  vs. Valparaiso - 1/8/16 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction

USA TODAY Sports

The Oakland Golden Grizzlies dropped to 9-6 (1-1 Horizon) on the season after a surprising loss to the Youngstown State Penguins, 100-98, this past Monday. In a game that featured little defense, Oakland fought back from a 52-46 halftime deficit, but allowed Youngstown State’s Jorden Kaufman to tip in the winning shot with just a second left to play in the loss. Oakland shot 46.6% from the field and 48.1% (13-27) from beyond the arc. The Golden Grizzlies allowed the Penguins to shoot 42.4% from the field and 50.0% (16-32) from beyond the arc. Leading the way for Oakland was Kahlil Felder who had a double-double with 23 points, 14 assists, 6 rebounds, 2 assists, and a block. On the season, the Golden Grizzlies have been led by Kahlil Felder (26.1 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 9.2 apg), Percy Gibson (12.9 ppg, 7.3 rpg), and Jalen Hayes (12.1 ppg, 8.2 rpg). Offensively, Oakland is averaging 86.9 ppg on 45.3% shooting from the field and 40.1% shooting from beyond the arc. The Golden Grizzlies average 9.3 three-pointers per game and have an assist/turnover ratio of 1.23. Defensively, Oakland is allowing their opponents to average 79.4 ppg on 41.1% shooting. The Golden Grizzlies have a rebound margin of 4.3 and a turnover margin of -0.6.

The Crusaders are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 vs. Horizon League opponents and 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games following an ATS win. The Golden Grizzlies are 9-2 ATS in their last 11 home games vs. a team with a winning road record and 12-4-1 ATS in their last 17 home games.

Valparaiso comes into conference play as the clear-cut favorite to win the Horizon this season as they have a few solid scorers and one of the best defenses in the country that ranks in the top 10 in both scoring defense and defensive FG %. Oakland is an exciting, high scoring team to watch and has one of the best players in the country in point-guard Kahlil Felder. Valparaiso has struggled in Oakland and lost in OT at the Athletics Center O’rena last season, however, this Crusaders team is just too solid defensively to be only favored by only a few points against a Golden Grizzlies team that just lost to Youngstown State. I’m taking Valparaiso to cover in this one. 

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Valparaiso Crusaders -1.5

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