Valparaiso (8-0) at Purdue (8-2)
When: Thursday, December 7th 2017
Where: Mackey Arena, West Lafayette, IN
Time: 6:30 ET | TV: FOX Sports 1
Opening Odds: Purdue -15
The Purdue Boilermakers have put consecutive losses to Tennessee and Western Kentucky behind them to reel-off four straight victories and will look to keep that momentum going when the Valparaiso Crusaders make the short trek down to West Lafayette on Thursday night. Center Isaac Haas has led the charged and scored 26 points, including the go-ahead basket with under a minute left, to lead Purdue to a 74-69 victory over Northwestern on Sunday in a game that featured 12 ties and 13 lead changes. Haas finished 8-of-13 from the field and 10-of-14 from the foul line, adding nine rebounds, and was named Big Ten Player of the Week after averaging 18.7 points, 6.0 rebounds and 1.3 blocks in wins over the Wildcats, Maryland and Louisville. Valparaiso became just the second team in the nation, along with Duke, to start this season 8-0 as the Crusaders took down Utah State 72-65 on Tuesday behind 25 points and nine rebounds from Tevonn Walker. Valpo is 2-14 all-time against the Boilermakers and hasn’t won a game against a team from the Big Ten since 2004. The Crusaders, who’s 8-0 start is the third best in program history, are entering their first season in the Missouri Valley Conference – replacing Wichita State.
Walker, a senior guard and the lone returning starter from last season’s Horizon League regular-season champion, is averaging team-bests of 17.3 points, 5.1 rebounds, 2.3 steals and 26.6 minutes while draining a team-high 12 three-pointers. Sophomore point guard Bakari Evelyn, who started his career at Nebraska, is averaging 11.5 points and a team-best 3.9 assists. Valpo’s strength is its defense, ranking second in the nation in field-goal percentage defense (34.3%) and seventh in 3-point percentage (25%). This will be the first of six-straight road contests for Valparaiso, ending in their first MVC game at Indiana State on December 28th.
Vincent Edwards, who averages a solid 13.5 points and 8.9 rebounds per game, had 12 points and eight boards, while reserve guard Ryan Cline (3.3 points per game) chipped in 13 points Sunday against the Wildcats. Four players are averaging at least 13.5 points, led by guard Carsen Edwards, who scores 16.3 per game. The Boilermakers shoot 49.8% from the floor, including 41% from downtown, which ranks 27th in the country. Purdue, who is already off to a 2-0 conference start, will play five non-conference games before hosting Rutgers on January 3rd.
Valpo is definitely not as good as their 8-0 record indicates, but I do think they have a good enough team to compete against a Purdue team who won’t be up for this game as much. I’ll take the points.
Pick: Valparaiso +16
- Crusaders are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games following a straight up win.
- Crusaders are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 non-conference games.
- Crusaders are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games overall.
- Crusaders are 10-4 ATS in their last 14 road games.
- Crusaders are 25-12-1 ATS in their last 38 road games vs. a team with a winning home record.
- Crusaders are 2-6 ATS in their last 8 games vs. a team with a winning straight up record.
- Crusaders are 1-5-1 ATS in their last 7 vs. Big Ten.
- Boilermakers are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 home games vs. a team with a winning road record.
- Boilermakers are 5-2-1 ATS in their last 8 games following a ATS loss.
- Boilermakers are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games vs. a team with a winning straight up record.
- Boilermakers are 27-11 ATS in their last 38 non-conference games.
- Boilermakers are 12-5-1 ATS in their last 18 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600.
- Boilermakers are 25-11-1 ATS in their last 37 games following a straight up win.
- Boilermakers are 38-18-2 ATS in their last 58 home games.
- Boilermakers are 23-11-2 ATS in their last 36 games overall.
- Boilermakers are 2-6 ATS in their last 8 Thursday games.
- Boilermakers are 1-8 ATS in their last 9 vs. Missouri Valley.
- Under is 5-1 in Crusaders last 6 vs. Big Ten.
- Over is 4-1 in Crusaders last 5 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600.
- Under is 5-2 in Crusaders last 7 overall.
- Under is 5-2 in Crusaders last 7 non-conference games.
- Over is 5-0 in Boilermakers last 5 games following a ATS loss.
- Over is 5-0 in Boilermakers last 5 home games vs. a team with a road winning % of greater than .600.
- Over is 10-2 in Boilermakers last 12 home games.
- Over is 8-2 in Boilermakers last 10 non-conference games.
- Over is 10-3 in Boilermakers last 13 overall.
- Over is 19-7 in Boilermakers last 26 Thursday games.
- Over is 8-3 in Boilermakers last 11 home games vs. a team with a winning road record.
- Over is 5-2 in Boilermakers last 7 vs. Missouri Valley.
- Over is 7-3 in Boilermakers last 10 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600.