Valparaiso Crusaders at Detroit Titans
Friday, 1/6/12, 8:00 PM EST, TV: ESPN3
Opening Point Spread: Detroit -6
Current Betting Line: Detroit -5
Opening Total: 151
Current Total: 150
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker
Valparaiso opens play in 2012 in a critical Horizon League contest and will start a stretch of six road games in the next eight contests. The Crusaders snapped a two-game losing streak with a 90-87 victory over Wisconsin-Green Bay on Dec. 31, but have dropped their last six games against the spread. The team will be looking to win two games in a row for the first time since Nov. 19-20. Valparaiso is a perfect 5-0 ATS as a road underdog of 3.5 to 6 points the last two-plus years.
The Crusaders own a narrow 9-7 edge in the all-time series with the Titans, winning the last three meetings, including an 88-78 victory as 3.5-point road favorites on March 4, 2011. Valparaiso is at its best when shooting inside the arc, hitting 57.3 percent of its shots from two-point range. It’s also important to note that the squad leads all league members in out-rebounding opponents by 3.5 rebounds per game.
Detroit had four players score in double figures to capture a 65-54 win over Loyola-Chicago as five-point road favorites last time out, as the team has alternated wins and losses over the last four games. The Titans are led offensively by the play of guards Ray McCallum and Chase Simon, as they average 14.6 and 15.7 points per game respectively. Simon led the attack on Saturday by scoring 17 points. Detroit is 6-3 ATS as a home favorite of 3.5 to 6 points the last two-plus years.
The Titans were expected to make some noise this year, as three players were named to the 2011-12 preseason All-Horizon League First Team. The trio are the first teammates to all be on the first squad in league history. Holman has missed most of the non-conference schedule, but the squad continues to be one of the best rebounding teams around. He continues to try and get back into game shape and needs just 14 blocked shots to move into second-place in school history in that particular category.
Bettors will likely back the Titans due to their 4-1 ATS mark versus teams with a losing road record, while the Crusaders are 3-8 ATS versus Horizon League opponents.
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