It will be a battle between MVC opponents when the Missouri State Bears (9-10, 3-3 MVC) welcome the Valparaiso Crusaders (10-9, 3-3 MVC) to JQH Arena. The game starts at 8:30 p.m. ET on Thursday, January 23, 2020, and will air on CBS Sports Network.
Valparaiso Crusaders at Missouri State Bears Free Prediction
In the Crusaders’ last game, they topped the Indiana State Sycamores, 86-77. The Crusaders knocked down 18 of their 22 free throws (81.8 percent) and held the Sycamores to an offensive rebounding percentage of 20.0 (below the 25.2 mark opponents have averaged against Valparaiso this season). With 25 points on 8-for-16 shooting, Javon Freeman-Liberty led Valparaiso in scoring.
The Bears beat the Evansville Aces in their last contest, 68-58. Missouri State’s effective field goal percentage was their largest strength over Evansville. The Bears had a rate of 0.536 (above their season average of 0.490), while the Aces posted a mark of 0.439 (below their season average of 0.503). Isiaih Mosley was the top scorer from either team with 23 points on 10-for-14 shooting from the field.
This has potential to be a sloppy game for the Missouri State offense. Missouri State ranks 296th in the country in ball protection (turnover percentage of 21.2 percent), while the gambling defense of Valparaiso forces the 58th-most turnovers in the nation (22.4 percent).
After splitting two games last season, this will be the first matchup of the year between these two teams. In the last matchup, the Bears won 55-54. The Bears had a better turnover percentage (13.9 vs. 16.0) and had a better offensive rebounding percentage (25.6 vs. 24.2).
Valparaiso Crusaders at Missouri State Bears Pick
Basketball Tip: ATS Winner – Missouri State, O/U – Over
Valparaiso ranks 27th in assists per game (15.9) while Missouri State ranks 200th (11.5).
The Crusaders rank 78th in three pointers attempted per game (24.5) while the Bears rank 228th (18.9).
Valparaiso ranks 34th in steals per game (8.4) while Missouri State ranks 152nd (5.9).
The Bears rank 30th in rebounds allowed per game (31.4) while the Crusaders rank 109th (34.3).
The Crusaders have been outscored by an average of 1.4 points in their last five games. On the season, Valparaiso has defeated opponents by an average of 1.4 points.
During their last five games, the Bears have scored an average of 65.6 points per game (1.5 below their season average) and allowed an average of 70.8 points per game (4.9 above their season average).