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Valaparaiso vs. Drake,
2-24-2018 - Prediction & Preview

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Game Snapshot with Current Line

#547 Valaparaiso
#548 Drake

Saturday, February 24, 2018 at 3:00pm

Image licensed from USA Today Sports

Game Stats

Valaparaiso Crusaders

14 - 16


Drake Bulldogs

16 - 13


The Valparaiso Crusaders will travel to the Knapp Center on Saturday afternoon for a Missouri Valley Conference showdown against the Drake Bulldogs.

Turnovers causing problems for Valpo’s offense

Valpo lost for the second time in three games on Tuesday night, falling at home to Northern Iowa 68-63. Bakari Evelyn scored a team-high 19 points, while Markus Golder came off of the bench to chip in 14 in a losing effort for the Crusaders. Valparaiso was outscored 22-8 at the free throw line and the team finished with just seven assists compared to 12 turnovers in the loss.

Turnovers have been a major problem for the Crusaders all season long. Valparaiso comes in ranked outside of the top-300 in turnover percentage for the season. During conference play, the Crusaders have turned the ball over on 21.3 percent of their offensive possessions (10th in the MVC), which has limited them to an offensive efficiency rating of just 97.5 points per 100 possessions (9th in the MVC) on the offensive end of the floor.  

Valparaiso enters the weekend with an effective field goal percentage of 50.5 percent (4th in the MVC) and a free throw rate of 34.6 percent (4th in the MVC) during league play this year.

On defense, the Crusaders have allowed opponents to score at a rate of 101.4 points per 100 possessions (3rd in the MVC), while limiting them to just 31.9 percent shooting from three-point range (2nd in the MVC).

Drake bids farewell to Timmer on Senior Night

Drake snapped a three-game winning streak on Wednesday with a heartbreaking 89-81 overtime loss on the road against Illinois State. The Bulldogs led by as many as 10 points in the first half and owned a two-point lead late in regulation, but couldn’t hold off a late Redbirds run. Reed Timmer scored a game-high 26 points, while Ore Arogundade chipped in 13 points and seven boards in a losing effort for the Bulldogs.

The Bulldogs enter the weekend scoring only 101.4 points per 100 possessions on the offensive end of the floor (7th in the MVC), despite turning the ball over on just 17.6 percent of their offensive possessions (2nd in the MVC).

Niko Medved’s squad does a good job of moving the ball on offense to generate easy baskets. The Bulldogs have assisted on 58.6 percent of their total field goal attempts during conference play (1st in the MVC), while sporting an effective field goal percentage of 50.4 percent (6th in the MVC).

Drake has taken 40.7 percent of their total attempts from three-point range, hitting 33.6 percent of those three-pointers during conference play (6th in the MVC).



  • Crusaders are 2-6-1 ATS in their last 9 road games.


  • Bulldogs are 6-0 ATS in their last 6 Saturday games.

This is going to be an emotional Senior Night for one of the most experienced teams in the entire country. According to Ken Pom, Drake ranks 7th in the country in overall experience and the team has four seniors in the starting lineup. The Bulldogs were getting hot at the right time prior to their OT loss against the Redbirds. Drake comes in having won four of their last six conference games and the team will bid farewell to one of the program’s most storied players in Reed Timmer. Look for Timmer to have a big day in his last home game, while leading the Bulldogs to a cover at home in this MVC matchup on Saturday afternoon.

Pick: Drake Bulldogs

Nick Raffoul

Shortly after graduating with an Honors in Business Administration, Nick turned his attention from traditional stocks and bonds to investing in the performance of sports teams. He uses a combination of advanced stats and historical data to create sports investment models to identify value and generate consistent profits.


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