Valparaiso vs Kentucky FREE NCAAB Pick, 12-7-2016 – Sports Investor Central
Dating back to the 11th century a series of crusades were carried out mostly as religious wars. A modern day definition can refer to an aggressive movement to advance a cause and Valparaiso’s cause tonight is beat Kentucky for a spot in the Top 25 and use as a resume builder for the NCAA Tournament.
Valpo is (7-1) on the season with their lone loss coming to Oregon. Since the loss, they have rattled off four straight wins against some decent teams such as BYU, Alabama and Rhode Island but no one near the caliber of Kentucky. Leading the way in scoring for the Crusaders is Alec Peters, with 25.4 PPG and 9.1 RPG. The versatile 6-9 senior forward was is as efficient as they come, shooting right around 50% from the floor with a beautiful in-and-out game the past three seasons. Peters could have taken his game to the NBA after his junior year but decided to return to Valpo and he has provided a rare edge for a mid major team.
Despite losing a pool of talent from last season’s 30-7 team that missed the NCAA tournament after an unexpected Horizon League tournament exit, this year’s roster features a veteran core, including fellow senior Shane Hammink (15.4 ppg, 5.1 rpg). Tonight, will be one of the toughest tests on their schedule.
Over on the Kentucky side, they’re entering play Wednesday with a 7-1 record as well. The Wildcats are coming off a rare loss at home to UCLA, 97-92.
Malik Monk is tops in scoring for the Wildcats with 19.9 PPG, while Isaiah Briscoe isn’t far behind on 17.3 PPG. De’Aaron Fox (15.9 PPG; 5.3 RPG; 7.8 APG) and Edrice Adebayo (12.0 PPG; 8.3 RPG) are averaging in double-figures as well. This Kentucky team is very athletic and poses matchup nightmares for most teams in the country. One of the key stats in Kentucky’s loss to UCLA was the Bruins drained over 43% of their 3-point attempts.
Similar to Kentucky teams of the past, they start 4 freshman which can be challenging for team chemistry. All highly touted freshman can score which is the reason they rank 4th in the nation averaging 95.1 PPG. However, most highly touted freshman have never had to put forth a lot of effort on the defensive side and can get away with god given athleticism in high school. In college, the game is different and defense is a must to win close games.
Valparaiso is 17-7-1 ATS in their last 25 road games versus a team with a winning home record. Kentucky is a very good team but they are not seasoned and this is why I feel that -19 points is too many to give up to this Valparaiso team. Sure, Valpo is top heavy with Peters doing most of the scoring but his experience and this team’s experience should suite them well in Rupp Arena. Valpo is still underrated and they have something to prove tonight. I like Valpo +19 to keep this one closer than expected and we”ll cash in on the Crusaders.
Valparaiso vs Kentucky FREE NCAAB Pick: Valparaiso +19
Mikhail is 10-4 in NCAAB L7, 71% +2,520 units