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Southern Illinois vs. Valparaiso - 2/3/18 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Valparaiso Crusaders (12-12) at Southern Illinois Salukis (15-9)

College Basketball: Saturday, February 3, 2018 at 8:00 pm (SIU Arena)

The Line: Southern Illinois Salukis -5.5 -- Over/Under: 142 See the Latest Odds

TV: ESPN 3

The Valparaiso Crusaders will travel to SIU Arena to take on the Southern Illinois Salukis this Saturday night in College Basketball action.

The Valparaiso Crusaders snapped their 5-game losing streak and improved to 12-12 (3-8 MVC) on the season after defeating the Indiana State Sycamores, 69-63, this past Wednesday. Valparaiso’s defense was able to create a bunch of turnovers against the Sycamores and pulled away late after a 9-4 Crusaders run gave Valparaiso a 63-56 lead with 1:19 left in regulation. Valparaiso shot 42.9% from the field and forced Indiana State into committing 22 turnovers in the loss. Leading the way for the Crusaders was Bakari Evelyn who had 20 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists, and a steal. On the season, Valparaiso is averaging 70.9 ppg on 44.1% shooting from the field. The Crusaders are averaging 6.5 three-pointers per game on 32.8% shooting from beyond the arc. Offensively, Valparaiso has been led by Tevonn Walker (15.3 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 1.5 apg, 2.1 spg), Bakari Evelyn (12.1 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 2.9 apg, 1.5 spg), Joe Burton (11.5 ppg, 3.4 rpg), and Markus Golder (8.0 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 1.2 apg, 1.0 spg). Defensively, Valparaiso is holding their opponents to an average of 68.2 ppg on 41.4% shooting from the field. The Crusaders have a rebound margin of 1.4 and a turnover margin of 0.2. Joe Burton will be unavailable for this game due to a suspension.

Southern Illinois vs. Valparaiso - 2/3/18 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction

USA TODAY Sports

The Southern Illinois Salukis won their 4th straight game and improved to 15-9 (7-4 MVC) on the season after defeating the Drake Bulldogs, 78-67, this past Tuesday. Southern Illinois led by a 39-32 at halftime and pulled away late as they ended the final 4:19 of regulation on a 9-0 run. Southern Illinois shot 50.9% from the field and outrebounded the Bulldogs by a 38-25 margin in the victory. Leading the way for the Salukis was Aaron Cook who had 18 points, 4 rebounds, 1 assist, and a steal. On the season, Southern Illinois is averaging 71.2 ppg on 47.1% shooting from the field. The Salukis are averaging 6.5 three-pointers per game on 35.8% shooting from beyond the arc. Offensively, Southern Illinois has been led by Armon Fletcher (14.4 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 1.8 apg, 1.2 spg), Sean Lloyd Jr. (12.2 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 2.3 apg, 1.5 spg), Kavion Pippen (11.8 ppg, 5.8 rpg, 1.1 apg, 1.3 bpg), and Aaron Cook (10.2 ppg, 2.2 rpg, 2.8 apg, 1.3 spg). Defensively, Southern Illinois is holding their opponents to an average of 68.6 ppg on 43.3% shooting from the field. The Salukis have a rebound margin of -0.2 and a turnover margin of 0.3.

The Crusaders are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games following a straight up win and 1-5 ATS in their last 6 road games. The Salukis are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games overall and 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games following a ATS win.

Valparaiso has lost 9 of their last 12 games and although their defense has been solid, ranking 77th in scoring defense, the Crusaders have struggled offensively as they come into this matchup ranked 258th in scoring offense, 204th in FG%, and 278thin 3P-FG%. Southern Illinois has won 5 of their last 6 games and has been solid on both ends of the court as the Salukis rank t-84th in scoring defense and 67th in FG%. Southern Illinois is 10-2 at home on the season and as I think the Salukis defense will give Valparaiso a bunch of trouble, I’m taking Southern Illinois to cover this mid-range spread at home. 

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