Creighton vs. Wichita State: Missouri Valley Conference Showdown Saturday Night

No. 19 Creighton Blue Jays at Wichita State Shockers
Saturday, 12/31/11, 6:00 PM EST, TV: ESPNU
Opening Point Spread:  Wichita St -7
Current Betting Line:  Wichita St -6.5
Opening Total:  151.5
Current Total:  151.5
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

The Wichita State Shockers face a dangerous underdog in the Creighton Blue Jays Saturday

Creighton is off to a 10-2 start this season and opened up Missouri Valley Conference play with a 77-65 home loss to Missouri State as 10-point home favorites.  “They came into our house and punched us in the mouth, and we didn’t do anything about it,” stated Blue Jays head coach Greg McDermott.  The Blue Jays shot just 38.2 percent from the floor and were outscored by 14 points in the final 20 minutes of action.  The program was picked to win the conference due to returning 10 lettermen and three starters.  Creighton is 3-0 ATS as an underdog this year.

The Blue Jays are led by Doug McDermott’s play on the offensive end, ranking second nationally in scoring 24.8 points per game, while also grabbing 8.6 rebounds per game.  He has scored 19 or more points in his last 11 games.  Creighton leads the all-time series with Wichita State by a 52-43 margin, but dropped both meetings a year ago for the first time since the 1987-88 season.  The team is 30-16 in its last 46 games when playing on the ESPN family of networks.

Wichita State has won eight games in a row and comes off a sensational 90-51 victory over the Bradley Braves as 11.5-point road favorites.  The Shockers are 1-1 against ranked teams this season, capturing a 89-70 win over the UNLV Runnin’ Rebels inside the Charles Koch Arena.  Joe Ragland has been a major force offensively over the recent hot streak, averaging 15.9 points on 64.9 percent shooting in the last seven games.  Wichita State is 3-5 ATS as a favorite of 6.5 to 9 points the last two-plus years.

The Shockers are truly dominating on the boards, out-rebounding opponents by an average of 9.3 rebounds per game.  Ragland is joined by four other players that average double figures in scoring and the squad is outscoring opponents by a 19.5-point margin per game.  Wichita State head coach Gregg Marshall is 2-0 when facing off against McDermott in his career.

Bettors will likely back the Blue Jays due to their 14-6 ATS mark on the road versus home teams with a winning record, while the Shockers are 2-6 ATS when playing at home in this series.

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