Valparaiso vs. Northern Kentucky - 2/11/16 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction
Northern Kentucky Norse (9-14) at Valparaiso Crusaders (20-4)
College Basketball: Thursday, February 11, 2016 at 8:00 pm (Athletics-Recreation Center)
The Line: Valparaiso Crusaders -20 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds
TV: ESPN 3
The Northern Kentucky Norse will travel to the Athletics-Recreation Center to take on the Valparaiso Crusaders this Thursday night in College Basketball action.
The Northern Kentucky Norse was able to snap their two game losing streak and improved to 9-14 (5-7 Horizon) on the season after defeating the Milwaukee Panthers, 75-71, this past Saturday. Northern Kentucky overcame a 39-32 halftime deficit and was able to take the lead in the 2nd half and secure the victory after a late 11-3 run. Northern Kentucky was great on the offensive end as they shot 45.9% from the field and 50.0% (11-22) from beyond the arc. The Norse allowed the Panthers to shoot 47.5% from the field and won the turnover battle by a 15-8 margin. Leading the way for Northern Kentucky was Jalen Billups who had 20 points and 6 rebounds. On the season, the Norse have been led by Jalen Billups (13.8 ppg, 5.9 rpg, 1.3 bpg), Lavone Holland II (11.7 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 4.3 apg, 1.1 spg), and Tyler White (11.1 ppg, 2.7 rpg, 3.9 apg). Offensively, Northern Kentucky is averaging 71.9 ppg on 45.0% shooting from the field and 35.6% form beyond the arc. Defensively, the Norse are allowing their opponents to average 74.2 ppg on 43.5% shooting.
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The Valparaiso Crusaders won their 4th straight game and improved to 20-4 (10-1 Horizon) on the season after defeating the UIC Flames, 73-55, this past Saturday. Valparaiso raced out to a 20-point halftime lead in the victory and never let UIC get within 12 points of the lead in the 2nd half. Valparaiso shot 43.1% from the field and outrebounded UIC by a 48-41 margin. The Crusaders held the Flames to 32.8% shooting from the field and 13.3% (2-15) from beyond the arc. Leading the way for Valparaiso was Alec Peters who had 15 points, 7 rebounds, and a steal. On the season, the Crusaders have been led by Alec Peters (17.0 ppg, 7.8 rpg, 1.0 apg), Tevonn Walker (10.6 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 2.0 apg, 1.0 spg), Keith Carter (9.1 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 4.1 apg, 1.5 spg). Offensively, Valparaiso is averaging 75.8 ppg on 44.6% shooting from the field and 35.5% shooting from beyond the arc. The Crusaders average 7.8 three-pointers per game and have an assist/turnover ratio of 1.07. Defensively, Valparaiso is holding their opponents to an average of 59.8 ppg on 36.9% shooting. The Crusaders have a rebound margin of 10.5 and average 7.3 steals per game.
The Norse are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games following a straight up win and 1-7 ATS in their last 8 games following a ATS win. The Crusaders are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 home games vs. a team with a road winning % of less than .400 and 5-0-1 ATS in their last 6 home games.
Northern Kentucky was able to get a big win against Milwaukee and has played solid as of late, winning 5 of their last 9 games, while averaging 84.4 in those victories. Valparaiso is the clear cut favorite to win the Horizon this season and has one of the best defenses in the country as they rank 4th in scoring defense and 3rd in defensive FG %. Northern Kentucky has done surprisingly well in their first season in the Horizon however, did get blown out by Valparaiso at home by a 71-46 margin a couple of weeks ago, and I just don’t see the Norse being able to score enough to cover against the Crusaders defense on the road. I’m taking Valparaiso to cover this large spread.