Belmont vs. Valparaiso - 12/28/15 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction
Valparaiso Crusaders (10-2) at Belmont Bruins (7-6)
College Basketball: Monday, December 28, 2015 at 8:00 pm (Curb Event Center)
The Line: Belmont Bruins +3 -- Over/Under: 145 See the Latest Odds
The Valparaiso Crusaders will travel to the Curb Event Center to take on the Belmont Bruins this Monday night in College Basketball action.
The Valparaiso Crusaders won their 4th straight game and improved to 10-2 (0-0 Horizon) on the season after defeating the Missouri State Bears, 74-45, on December 19th. Valparaiso used a strong defensive effort in the victory and held the Tigers to under 25 points in the both the 1st and 2nd half. Valparaiso shot 40.3% from the field and 41.4% (12-29) from beyond the arc. The Crusaders held Bears to shoot 32.1% from the field and outrebounded Missouri State by a 48-33 margin. Leading the way for Valparaiso was Alec Peters who had a double-double with 19 points and 10 rebounds. On the season, the Crusaders have been led by Alec Peters (17.3 ppg, 6.8 rpg, 1.2 apg), Tevonn Walker (12.4 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 1.6 apg, 1.1 spg), and Keith Carter (8.7 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 3.9 apg). Offensively, Valparaiso is averaging 71.4 ppg on 43.1% shooting from the field and 34.1% shooting from three-point range. The Crusaders average 7.4 three-pointers per game and have an assist/turnover ratio of 1.06. Defensively, Valparaiso is a holding their opponents to an average of 56.3 ppg on 36.5% shooting from the field. The Crusaders have a rebound margin of 5.8 and a turnover margin of 2.8.
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The Belmont Bruins lost their 2nd straight game and dropped to 7-6 (0-0 OVC-East) on the season after being defeated by the Cleveland State Vikings, 67-65, on December 19th. Belmont used a 19-4 run to take a 65-63 lead late in the game but allowed to Vikings to score the final 4-points in the loss. Belmont shot 34.5% from the field and 26.1% from beyond the arc. The Bruins allowed the Vikings to shoot 45.2% from the field and 40.0% from three-point range. Leading the way for Belmont was Mack Mercer who had a double-double with 20 points, 10 rebounds, 2 steals, and a block off the bench. On the season, the Bruins have been led by Evan Bradds (16.9 ppg, 8.8 rpg, 2.2 apg), Craig Bradshaw (15.7 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 2.8 apg, 1.3 spg), and Mack Mercer (11.3 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 1.1 bpg). Offensively, Belmont is averaging 81.2 ppg on 48.8% shooting from the field and 34.5% shooting from three-point range. The Bruins average 9.7 three-pointers per game and has an assist/turnover ratio of 1.16. Defensively, Belmont is allowing their opponents to average 78.0 ppg on 43.0% shooting. The Bruins have a rebound margin of -2.8 and a turnover margin of -2.2.
The Crusaders are 11-2-1 ATS in their last 14 road games vs. a team with a winning home record and 5-2 ATS in their last 7 road games. The Bruins are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 home games however, just 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games vs. Horizon League opponents.
Valparaiso is one of the best defensive teams in the country as they rank in the top 10 of all college basketball in points allowed and opponents FG%. Belmont has a great backcourt and two of the better players in the OVC in Evan Bradds and Craig Bradshaw, however, have struggled on the defensive end this season. Belmont played the Crusaders tough in early December losing a 61-57 game however, I think Valparaiso is the much better team in this one and I think they’ll be able to go into Belmont to cover this small spread. Take Valparaiso to cover.