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UNLV vs. Valparaiso - 11/28/18 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Game
Valparaiso Crusaders (3-3) at UNLV Rebels (4-1)
Date & Time Wednesday November 28, 2018, 10:30 PM (EST)
The Line
The Line: UNLV Rebels -5.5 -- Over/Under: 141.5
TV Channel Stream College Basketball all season on ESPN+. Start your 7-day FREE trial today!
NCAA BB | Valparaiso Crusaders (3-3) at UNLV Rebels (4-1)
Ben Queen-USA TODAY Sports

The Valparaiso Crusaders and the UNLV Runnin’ Rebels meet in college basketball action from the Thomas & Mack Center on Wednesday night as part of the 2018 Mountain West/Missouri Valley Challenge.

The Valparaiso Crusaders will be looking for a win to get back above .500 after an 88-76 loss to West Virginia in their last outing. Derrik Smits led the Crusaders with 20 points on 9 of 12 shooting with a team-high 7 rebounds and 5 blocks while Ryan Fazekas added 15 points on 5 of 6 shooting with 3 triples. Markus Golder added 13 points and Bakari Evelyn chipped in 10 points along with 4 assists to round out the foursome of double-digit scorers for Valpo in the losing effort. Javon Freeman chipped in 9 points with a pair of steals and Deion Lavender added 5 points with 6 rebounds and a game-high 10 assists in the loss. Smits leads the Crusaders with an average of 13.7 points and 6.3 rebounds per game while Lavender leads Valparaiso in assists with 5.8 assists per game this season. As a team Valparaiso is averaging 78.3 points per game on 49.7% shooting from the field, 33.1% from behind the 3-point line and 69.8% from the foul line this season.

The UNLV Runnin’ Rebels will be looking to add another victory to their current 4-game winning streak after a 76-71 win over Southern Utah in their last outing. Kris Clyburn led the Rebels with 14 points while Shakur Juiston added 11 points and 16 rebounds for the double-double as the only other UNLV played to score in double figures in the win. Noah Robotham added 7 points and a team-high 5 assists while Cheikh Mbacke Diang added 9 points and 3 blocks. Juiston leads UNLV with an average of 12 points and 8.4 rebounds per game while Robotham leads the Rebels in assists with 4.2 assists per game this season. As a team, UNLV is scoring 73.6 points per game on 48.4% shooting from the field, 29.2% from behind the 3-point line and 64.4% from the foul line this season.

Valparaiso is 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games following a loss and 3-8-1 ATS in their last 12 road games against a team with a winning home record while the over is 7-3 in their last 10 games overall. UNLV is 5-12 ATS in their last 17 home games and 8-18-2 ATS in their last 28 games overall while the over is 13-5 in their last 18 non-conference games.

UNLV is coming into this one in much better form, but if we’re being realistic, the Rebels haven’t played the toughest schedule, even at home. Valparaiso’s losses this year have come to 3 solid teams in Western Kentucky, Wake Forest and West Virginia, so the Crusaders are more than battle-tested and prepared for this one. With that said, I think these two sides match up well, and while I see UNLV winning, I see Valparaiso keeping it close so I’ll take the Crusaders and the points in this one.

Pick:
Valparaiso +5.5

Chris has been a sports fan from when he was old enough to pick up a basketball and was a standout offensive lineman throughout high school and college. Chris uses that same instinct, determination and drive to analyze trends and statistics to find and produce winners on a consistent basis. Chris has been writing for Sports Chat Place since 2016 and covers a wide array of sports from college and pro football, college basketball, hockey and baseball.

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