The Drake Bulldogs and Valparaiso Crusaders lock horns at Athletics-Recreation Center in Valparaiso on Saturday, February 6, 2021, so I bring you the best betting pick for this Missouri Valley Conference matchup.
The Bulldogs are searching for a perfect season, opening as firm double-digit favorites on DraftKings Sportsbook. They defeated Valparaiso in three of their last four encounters but covered just once in the process.
Drake smashed Illinois State after barely avoiding a huge upset
The Drake Bulldogs (17-0; 8-0 Conf.) are coming off a two-game home series against the Illinois State Redbirds. The opening clash was a nail-biter, as the Bulldogs barely survived as 18.5-point favorites, outlasting the Redbirds 78-76 in overtime. They shot only 13.3% from beyond the 3-point line while committing 13 turnovers.
The second game was completely different. Drake made 51.5% of its field goals and 41.9% of its 3-pointers, thrashing off the Redbirds 95-60 and easily covering an 18.5-point spread.
The Bulldogs are No. 10 in the latest NCAA NET Rankings. They score 110.8 points per 100 possessions (44th in the nation) on a terrific 51.2% shooting from the field (7th) and 39.0% from beyond the arc (21st). On the other side of the floor, they surrender 95.4 points per 100 possessions (65th) on 39.1% shooting from the field (19th).
Valparaiso snapped a three-game win streak at Evansville
After three straight upsets over Illinois State (twice) and Bradley, the Valparaiso Crusaders (6-11; 3-5 Conf.) dropped a two-game set at the Evansville Purple Aces. They lost the opener 70-52 as 1-point dogs, allowing the Aces to make a ridiculous 60.4% of their field goals. On the back end, the Crusaders suffered a 58-51 defeat as 2.5-point dogs, blowing a 16-point lead.
Valparaiso is No. 266 in the NCAA NET Rankings, and the Crusaders have struggled mightily for most of the season. They score only 96.2 points per 100 possessions (277th in the nation) on 41.5% shooting from the field (286th) and just 28.4% from beyond the arc (329th).
Furthermore, the Crusaders allow 102.3 points per 100 possessions (178th) on 44.2% shooting from the field (221st). They post 32.9 rebounds per game (287th) and yields 37.9 to their opponents (295th).
- 14-1 ATS in the last 15 games overall
- 7-0 ATS in the last seven road games
- 3-8 ATS in the last 11 games overall
- 1-4 ATS in the last five games played on Saturday
The Bulldogs battle the 10-1 Loyola Chicago Ramblers for the top spot in the MVC, so they cannot allow any surprises. Drake is a much better team than Valparaiso. The Bulldogs have great depth, so even if their bench players get a lot of minutes, the visitors should cover a huge spread.
The Crusaders have had a few bright moments this term, but I don’t think they have enough offensive firepower to endanger Drake even on a good shooting night.
Pick: Take Drake -12.5 at -110
The over has hit in four of Drake’s last five games, but the under is 6-1 in Valparaiso’s previous seven outings. I’ve mentioned the Crusaders’ offensive woes, so betting on the under seems like the right move.
Both teams prefer to play at a slow pace, averaging just below 68.0 possessions per 40 minutes. The Bulldogs could easily shut down the Crusaders who failed to score more than 58 points in four of their last seven games.
Pick: Go under 137.5 points at -110