Illinois-Chicago vs. Valparaiso
NCAA Basketball: Sunday, January 22nd, 3:00 pm EST
Line: Valpo -12.5
A great Horizon league game is on the docket for Sunday afternoon as the Flames of Illinois-Chicago takes on the Crusaders of Valparaiso. UIC has won three in a row and defeated Milwaukee in their latest. With the win, they climbed to 4-2 in conference and 11-8 overall. Valpo has the lead in the Horizon league at 5-1 and are 15-4 overall. They have won six of seven and their lone loss in conference was to the Golden Grizzlies of Oakland.
Both teams have been covering machines this year. The Flames are 13-6 overall ATS and a very impressive 6-2 on the road. Meanwhile, Valpo is a not too shabby 11-6 ATS overall and they are 7-4 at home.
UIC wins third in a row
The Flames extended their winning streak to three games with an easy win over Wisconsin-Milwaukee 71-57 on Tuesday night. Tai Odaise had a monster game with 20 points, 12 rebounds, and most impressively of all, six blocked shots. He also made nine of his 14 shots and was the best player on the court on the offensive side and the defensive side of the court.
The Horizon League is now up for grabs near the top. The Flames improved to 4-2 in conference with the win. They are trailing three teams, but are still only one game behind Valpo for first place in the conference. Oakland and Green Bay are 5-2 and are a half game ahead of the Flames.
Alpo takes care of Green Bay
Valparaiso took care of the Phoenix of Green Bay on Monday night, giving them their first conference loss, and Sunday’s tilt will be their first game since then so they should be well rested. Valpo had a precarious seven point halftime lead, but then when wild in the second half on their way to the 80-56 victory. Alec Peters scored 20 points and had a career best 16 rebounds in the victory.
The real story was the Crusaders defense, however. They held the Phoenix to 32% from the field, and forced misses on 19 of 25 three pointers, for a 24% performance. This was a team that had been undefeated in the Horizon league, and Valpo totally dominated them, showing they are probably the top team right now.
The UIC Flames are:
- 4-0 ATS in their last 4 road games vs. a team with a home winning % of greater than .600.
- 6-0 ATS in their last 6 games following a ATS win.
- 12-3-1 ATS in their last 16 vs. Horizon League.
The Valparaiso Crusaders are:
- 3-7 ATS in their last 10 home games.
The Flames have been better than I thought this year, and when I went to make my pick in this game, I was surprised how many trends UIC had going for them. Let’s go with the unpopular pick and take the Flames on the road. I think they might even stay close enough to think about winning the game. Not bad for a big underdog.