Last Updated: 2017-03-06
The Oakland Golden Grizzlies (9-6) welcome the Valparaiso Crusaders (11-3) in a matchup that pits the Horizon’s top-ranked offense against the top-ranked defense. The game starts at 7:00 pm ET on Friday, Jan. 8 and will air on ES2 and ES3.
The Golden Grizzlies lost a tough one against Youngstown State 100-98 on Monday. Kahlil Felder played well in the loss for Oakland, recording 23 points and 14 assists to earn his eighth double-double of the season. The Crusaders, meanwhile, are coming off a 75-47 win over UIC on Saturday. Keith Carter led the game in scoring with 15 points on 5-for-8 shooting.
This game should be a battle of contrasting styles. The Golden Grizzlies (ranked 12th in the nation in possessions per game) prefer an up-tempo style of play, while the Crusaders (266th) are slow-paced.
Oakland is a small underdog, with Valparaiso favored by one. The Over/Under (O/U) is 152 points.
For updated lines, check out BTB’s College Basketball Odds.
The Golden Grizzlies enter the game with records of 9-6 Straight Up (SU) and 8-2 Against The Spread (ATS). In their last 10 games, they are 6-1 ATS. The Golden Grizzlies are an incredibly accurate shooting team from the line with a .756 free throw percentage, one of the highest marks in Division I. The Golden Grizzlies do a great job keeping their opponents off of the glass and limiting second-chance points. They average 29.7 defensive rebounds per game, which ranks 11th in Division I.
On the other side, Valparaiso has a SU record of 11-3 and an ATS record of 6-5. Valparaiso’s defense is one of the top in the nation, with opponents shooting only .371 from the field. They average 8.4 steals per game, good for 34th in the nation.
Oakland and Valparaiso will be facing off in their first head-to-head contest of the season. When they last met the Crusaders were winners, but Oakland still leads the head-to-head record, 7-3 SU, over their most recent matchups. Additionally, with a 6-1 record, Oakland has the advantage ATS. Neither team was able to hold the edge in field goals, rebounds, or three-pointers over the course of their latest five contests.
Predictions: SU Winner – Valpo, ATS Winner – Valpo, O/U – Under
Valparaiso is 1-5 SU in its last 6 games when playing on the road against Oakland.
Oakland is 16-4 SU in its last 20 games at home.
Oakland is 7-18 SU in its last 25 games when playing Valparaiso.
Oakland stands at an even 1-1 against conference rivals, while Valparaiso is undefeated against its conference (1-0).
Valparaiso has allowed an average of 65.0 points per away game this season. Oakland averages 90.9 points per home game, ranking 11th in scoring.
The Valparaiso Crusaders have the best defense in the country, giving up just 84.5 points per 100 possessions. The Oakland Golden Grizzlies have the 39th-ranked offense, scoring 114.7 points in the same number of possessions.
The Oakland Golden Grizzlies average a field goal percentage of 45.3% this season. The Valparaiso Crusaders are a winless 0-2 when opponents have a FG% of 45.3% or greater.
The Oakland Golden Grizzlies and the Valparaiso Crusaders both rank higher in average effective field goal percentage when compared to their field goal percentages. Oakland is 113th and 86th in the nation for FG% and eFG% respectively, while Valparaiso is 209th and 180th in these categories.
Oakland ranks 62nd in assists, registering 15.9 per game. Valparaiso performs worse at 259th with 12.4 assists per game.
Oakland, the 17th-ranked team in rebounding, registers an average of 42.4 rebounds per game. Valparaiso ranks 61st with 39.6.
Valparaiso ranks 232nd in offensive rebounds, while Oakland ranks at 11th in defensive rebounds.
On average, Oakland forces a turnover rate of 16.4%. When Valparaiso turns over the ball at a similar or higher rate, the team has a stellar 8-1 record.
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