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Central Florida Knights vs. Valparaiso Crusaders Pick-Odds-Prediction 12/22/13

Valparaiso Crusaders (7-5) at Central Florida Knights (6-3)

College Basketball: Sunday, December 22, 2013 at 2:30 pm (CFE Arena)

The Line: Central Florida Knights -4 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds


UCF tries to avenge an earlier loss to Valpraiso when they meet for the second time this season Sunday.

The Knights come in with a record of 7-3 and on a four-game winning streak, including an 86-58 dismantling of NAIA Rio Grande Saturday. Central Florida shot 28 of 56 from the field, while holding their opponent to 27 of 74 shooting. Junior F Kasey Wilson had a team-high 19 points and 9 rebounds on 5 of 9 from the floor and connected on 2 of three from beyond the arc. The Knights also shot a strong percentage from distance, hitting 13 of 24, while the Red Storm struggled to make just 3 of 27. UCF flexed its muscle early, taking a 16-point lead by the midway point of the first half, but Rio Grande scored the last eight points of the half and trailed 41-32 at the break. The Red Storm stayed close at the start of the second, getting to within five points before UCF broke the game open with a 16-3 run that took the game down to the 7:24 mark for a 20-point lead that would swell to as many as 28. Through 10 games, the Knights are averaging 78.3 ppg on 47 percent shooting and senior G Calvin Newell leads the team with 16.6 ppg.

Central Florida Knights vs. Valparaiso Crusaders Pick-Odds-Prediction 12/22/13

David Manning-USA TODAY Sports

Meanwhile, Valpraiso comes in at 8-5 and off an 89-46 over Southeastern Saturday, in which the Crusaders made 15 three-pointers for a lights out 62 percent from beyond the arc. Senior G LaVonte Dority led all scorers with 18 points and connected on 4 of 5 from distance, while freshman F Alec Peters added 16 points and made 4 of 5 three-pointers. Valpraiso raced out to a big lead early, outscoring the Fires 22-2 with less than nine minutes gone in the first half and took a 48-20 advantage into the break. Southeastern was simply bombarded by run after Crusader run in the second half and could do little as the lead grew to as many as 45 points. On the season, Valpraiso is averaging 82.3 ppg on 49 percent shooting and Dority leads the team with 15.5 ppg.

The line in this one is currently set at -4 for Central Florida and that sounds about right as this team is  surging since its last loss at FAU, winning its last 4 in convincing fashion by 19, 15, 40 and 31 points. Not to mention the Knights will be looking to exact revenge for last month’s loss to Valpo. Look for UCF to cover.

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