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Purdue vs. Valparaiso - 12/7/17 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Valparaiso Crusaders (8-0) at Purdue Boilermakers (8-2)

College Basketball: Thursday, December 7, 2017 at 6:30 pm (Mackey Arena)

The Line: Purdue Boilermakers -16 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds

TV: FS1

We have some non-conference college basketball action on tap Thursday, as the Valparaiso Crusaders take on the #21 Purdue Boilermakers.

The Valparaiso Crusaders will look for a big road win to remain unbeaten after starting the year 8-0 following their 72-65 win over Utah State last time out. Tevonn Walker led the team with 25 points on 10 of 17 shooting with a pair of threes and a team-high 9 rebounds to go along with a pair of steals. Jaume Sorolla added 16 points, 8 rebounds and a pair of blocks, wihle Bakari Evelyn chipped in 10 points with a team-high 4 assists to round out the scoring in double figures for Valpo in the win. Walker leads the Crusaders with an average of 17.2 points and 5.1 rebounds per game, while Evelyn is the team’s leading assist man, dishing out 3.9 assists per game this season. As a team, Valparaiso is scoring 83 points per game on 48.9% shooting from the field, 33.6% from behind the arc and 72.9% from the foul line this season. The Crusaders also have one of the toughest defenses in the country, giving up the 9th-fewest points per game in D-I, allowing just 60 per contest, while also boasting the 2nd-lowest field goal percentage against at 34.3% and the 7th-lowest 3-point percentage against at 25%.

Purdue vs. Valparaiso - 12/7/17 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction

USA TODAY Sports

The #21 Purdue Boilermakers will try to keep their momentum going after winning 3 straight, including a 74-69 win over Northwestern last time out. Isaac Haas led the team with 26 points on 8 of 13 shooting with a 10 of 14 mark from the foul line to go along with 9 rebounds. Ryan Cline added 13 points on 5 of 7 shooting with 3 triples, and Vince Edwards chipped in 12 points with 8 boards to round out the scoring in double figures for Purdue. Dakota Mathias added 9 points and a team-high 5 assists, while Carsen Edwards chipped in 6 points and 4 helpers. Carsen Edwards still leads Purdue in scoring with an average of 16.3 points per game, while Vince Edwards leads the team in rebounding with 8.9 boards per game and Mathias is the team’s leading assist man with 4.9 assists per game this season. As a team, Purdue is scoring 86.5 points per game on 49.8% shooting from the field, 41% from behind the arc and 75.5% from the foul line this season.

Valparaiso is 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games overall and 1-5-1 ATS in their last 7 games against the Big Ten while the under is 5-2 in their last 7 non-conference games. Purdue is 38-18-2 ATS in their last 58 home games and 23-11-2 ATS in their last 36 games overall while the over is 10-3 in their last 13 games overall.

There’s no doubt that Purdue will be the toughest test for Valpo so far, and that the Crusaders will probably not walk out the way they walked in, which was undefeated. However, it just feels wrong leaving this many points on the table with a Crusaders team that can score and have one of the tightest defenses through the first month of the season. Granted it was against subpar competition for the most part, but Purdue has only won by 5 points in back-to-back games and while I think they’ll win again here, I like the value of Valparaiso and the points.

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