Horizon League Basketball Preview: Detroit Titans vs. Valparaiso Crusaders

Detroit Titans at Valparaiso Crusaders
Thursday, 2/2/12, 7:30 PM EST, TV:  ESPN3
Opening Point Spread:  Valparaiso -3
Current Betting Line:  Valparaiso -2.5
Opening Total:  145
Current Total:  143.5
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

America East Tournament Preview
The Valparaiso Crusaders return home after registering a 3-1 record on their four-game road trip

Detroit is in the thick of the Horizon League race and will look to push its winning streak to four games in taking to the road to start its February schedule.  The Titans have failed to cover three of their last four games, including a 70-66 win over Illinois-Chicago as 16-point home favorites.  Offensively, the team leads the league in scoring 72.8 points per game, while sitting just behind tonight’s opponent in hitting 45.5 percent of its shots from the floor.  Detroit is 8-12 ATS on the season and the “under” is 11-9 in those contests.

The Crusaders have won all eight home meetings against the Titans since joining the Horizon League, while owning a 10-7 edge in the all-time series.  Detroit has been led by its defense during its recent stretch of winning five of si games, holding opponents to just 61.8 points per game.  Guard Ray McCallum leads the team in scoring 15.6 points per game, while also leading the way in dishing out 3.8 assists per contest.

Valparaiso begins an important stretch to the season when hosting five of its final seven league games inside the Athletics-Recreation Center, as the team returns from a 3-1 road trip that began on Jan. 19.  The Crusaders are averaging 71.5 points and shooting 49.4 percent from the floor in their league wins this season, while being held to just 56.7 points on 40.5 percent shooting in their losses.  Valparaiso is 4-8 ATS as a favorite this season and the “under” is 8-3 in that situation.

The Crusaders are 8-2 at home the ARC this season, pushing their all-time record to 254-112 inside the venue.  Valparaiso has gained the respect of Horizon League teams this year, as it plays hard for 40 minutes a game.  “I’m impressed with their toughness, their grittiness,” stated Milwaukee head coach Rob Jeter of Valpo.  The program has won and covered the last four meetings in this series, including a 73-71 win as five-point road underdogs on Jan. 6.

Bettors will likely back the Titans due to the road team covering four of the last five meetings, while the Crusaders are 2-6 ATS as a home favorite.

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