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Indiana State vs. Valparaiso - 12/28/17 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Valparaiso Crusaders (9-4) at Indiana State Sycamores (5-7)

College Basketball: Thursday, December 28, 2017 at 7:00 pm (Hulman Center)

The Line: Indiana State Sycamores 0 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds

TV: The Valley; Fox Sports - Midwest; NBC Sports Chicago; ESPN College Extra

The Valparaiso Crusaders will travel to the Hulman Center to take on the Indiana State Sycamores this Thursday night in College Basketball action.

The Valparaiso Crusaders dropped to 9-4 on the season after being defeated by the UC Riverside Highlanders, 73-60, on December 20th. Valparaiso struggled on the offensive end in the 1st half and couldn’t fight back after trailing by a 37-19 margin at halftime. Valparaiso shot just 33.3% from the field and 12.5% (4-32) from beyond the arc in the loss. Leading the way for the Crusaders was Max Joseph who had 15 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists, and 3 steals. On the season, Valparaiso is averaging 74.6 ppg on 45.9% shooting from the field. The Crusaders are averaging 6.2 three-pointers per game on 32.3% shooting from beyond the arc. Offensively, Valparaiso has been led by Tevonn Walker (16.4 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 1.6 apg, 2.2 spg), Joe Burton (11.5 ppg, 3.4 rpg), Bakari Evelyn (10.4 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 3.5 apg, 1.3 spg), and Markus Golder (9.1 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 1.2 apg). Defensively, Valparaiso is holding their opponents to an average of 65.8 ppg on 38.2% shooting from the field. The Crusaders have a rebound margin of 7.8 and a turnover margin of -0.2. Tevonn Walker is listed as questionable for the matchup due to an illness and Joe Burton is currently out indefinitely due to a suspension.

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Indiana State vs. Valparaiso - 12/28/17 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction

USA TODAY Sports

The Indiana State Sycamores lost their 2nd straight game and dropped to 5-7 on the season after being defeated by the Elon Phoenix, 73-68, this past Friday. Indiana State fought back to take a lead after trailing by double-digits early in the 2nd half, however, couldn’t secure the victory after a 9-2 Phoenix run gave Elon a 70-61 lead with just 1:00 left in regulation. Indiana State shot 36.2% from the field and 34.5% (10-29) from beyond the arc. Leading the way for the Sycamores was Brenton Scott who had 20 points, 6 rebounds, 3 steals, and a block. On the season, Indiana State is averaging 74.9 ppg on 42.2% shooting from the field. The Sycamores are averaging 9.3 three-pointers per game on 38.5% shooting from beyond the arc. Offensively, Indiana State has been led by Jordan Barnes (17.1 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 4.3 apg), Brenton Scott (13.8 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 1.9 apg, 1.6 spg), Qiydar Davis (10.9 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 1.3 apg, 1.4 spg), and Tyreke Key (9.2 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 1.4 apg, 1.3 spg). Defensively, Indiana State is allowing their opponents to average 74.7 ppg on 43.1% shooting from the field. The Sycamores have a rebound margin of 0.1 and a turnover margin of -0.8.

The Crusaders are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games vs. MVC opponents and are 13-6 ATS in their last 19 games following a straight up loss. The Sycamores are 11-4 ATS in their last 15 Thursday games however, are just 2-6-1 ATS in their last 9 games overall.

Valparaiso is a solid defensive team that ranks 59th in scoring defense and 22nd in defensive FG%, however, have lost 3 of their last 4 games as they’ve struggled on the offensive end without Tevonn Walker. Indiana State can light it up from beyond the arc as they rank 63rd in three-pointers made per game and 3P-FG% however, the Sycamores haven’t been anything more than average on either side of the court as they rank 183rd in scoring offense and 231st in scoring defense. Valparaiso is a different team with Tevonn Walker in the lineup and as long as he is good to go, I’m taking the Crusaders in this pick-em. 

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