Valaparaiso vs. Youngstown State, 01/12/17 - Prediction & Preview

Game Snapshot

#538 Youngstown State University Penguins
vs.
#537 Valaparaiso University Crusaders

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Valparaiso vs. Youngstown State

NCAA Basketball:  Thursday, January 12th, 7:45 pm EST

Line:  Valparaiso -8.5

Total: 156.5

Valparaiso heads to Youngstown State in a battle of Horizon League teams on Thursday.  The Crusaders are having another good year (what’s new), coming in at 12-4 and 2-1 in conference.  Their lone loss in conference was to Oakland who figures to be the team to beat in the Horizon.  Youngstown State has been OK this year, probably a little better than expected.  They are 8-9 overall and 2-2 in conference, having won their latest, 80-75 over Wright State.

The better team is also the better team against the spread as Valpo is 8-6 against the number and 2-2 away from home ATS.  Youngstown State is only 5-12 against the number and 3-5 at home.

Valpo beats Detroit

Valparaiso defeated Detroit on Sunday night but it was hardly an impressive win.  They won 81-74 in a game that was close the whole way and this was against a Detroit team who is 2-14 overall and 0-4 in the Horizon League.  Valpo shot over 50% from the field and this is a game they should have won easily, but they committed 20 turnovers and that’s what almost cost them.

As usual, Shane Hammink was a big part of the win. He scored 23 points and had three rebounds, three assists, a steal, and a block.  Most impressively, he made 13 of 14 throws, many of them big ones down the stretch.  He averages over 15 points and four rebounds on the season.

Youngstown State takes down Wright State

Youngstown State got a much-needed win on Saturday night, taking down the Raiders of Wright State 80-75.  It was a very impressive comeback as the Penguins trailed by 14 points at halftime, and came back to outscore them 50-31 in the second half.  The Penguins shot 47% from the field and held the Raiders to 37%, proving to be the difference in the game.

Fransisco Santiago had a big game for the Penguins, scoring 20 points, pulling down six rebounds, and dishing out four assists.  This shouldn’t come as a big surprise as he’s been the Penguins best all around player.  On the year he is averaging 13.3 points, 5.5 rebounds, and 4.8 assists.  He does a little bit of everything.

Trends:

The Valparaiso Crusaders are:

  • 4-1 ATS in their last 5 road games vs. a team with a home winning % of greater than .600.
  • 4-1 ATS in their last 5 road games.
  • 4-1 ATS in their last 5 road games vs. a team with a winning home record.

The Youngstown State Penguins are:

  • 7-21 ATS in their last 28 Thursday games.
  • 1-7 ATS in their last 8 games overall.
  • 0-8-1 ATS in their last 9 home games vs. a team with a road winning % of greater than .600.

Valpo is the better team, with the better pedigree, with better numbers against the spread this year.  Not enough?  Ok, I’ve listed several other trends up above that lead me to believe that the Crusaders get an easy win on Thursday.  Let’s take Valpo on the road.

Pick: Valparaiso

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Big B

Known as Big B since his time at UCSB, Brian O’Sullivan is a novelist, screenwriter, & poker player who follows sports religiously. His betting style would be considered that of a contrarian, and he likes to bet against the general public. It seems to be working. You can find him at the coffee shops of Vegas, hanging with his family in SF, or at the bars of LA.