Take Oakland At Plus Odds As The NCAA Basketball Pick vs. Valpo

Joe Gavazzi

Friday, February 19, 2016 7:35 PM UTC

Friday, Feb. 19, 2016 7:35 PM UTC

The Oakland Golden Grizzlies travel to Valporaiso, IN for this matchup of first and second place teams in the Horizon Conference. Get our free NCAA basketball pick inside.

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NCAA Basketball Pick: Oakland +9.5
Best Line Offered: at TheGreek


Oakland vs. Valpo 8:00 PM EST
Valpo leads Oakland by two games for the Horizon regular season title. That is only for pride, as the top two teams in the league get multi buys in the Horizon CCT, which is upcoming in early March. With five returning starters from a 28-6 season of last where they lost in the second round of the NCAA, Valpo has few weaknesses. A look at their stat profile shows the Crusaders allowing just 60 PPG on 37% shooting and 32% from the arc, while forcing over 13.4 TOs per game. To go along with their defense, Valpo has a +10.3 rebound margin and a positive assist/TO ratio to round out their statistical profile. They seldom beat themselves. Last Saturday night, however, Valpo entered their home game with Wright St standing 12-0 SU for the year on their home court, with every league contest resulting in a victory of 12 or more points.

The Crusaders battled tooth and nail with Wright St, and led by 6 points with under a minute to play. But the Raiders closed on an improbable run that tied the game and saw them steal the victory in OT at Valpo by a score of 61-59. The Crusaders had the buffer mid-week with a 66-43 romp of Cleveland St. But there is little doubt they are eager to get back on their home court and ease the bad taste of a previous home loss that shattered their undefeated home court streak. Matching their victory over Oakland by a margin will not come easily.

Coached by 32 year veteran mentor Greg Kampe, the Grizzlies are a vision of analytics. Kampe has +/- numbers on every combination of players, and rotates his guys consistently to get the better of the opponent’s personnel. After that, however, it’s the flash and dash of Detroit street ball, for although Kampe runs some loose offensive sets, it is the play of one of the most exciting lead guards in the nation, 5 foot 9 inch K. Felder that leads the way. Averaging in the mid 20’s per game, while dealing out nearly 10 assists per game, Felder runs the offensive show with a variety of three pointers, and drives to the lane where he can either dish or deliver. It is a great show to watch.

For our purposes, it has resulted in the nation’s best point spread record at 18-5 ATS, but it is within that number that comes the truly remarkable stat that has seen Oakland go 12-1 ATS on the road, including covering their last 11 road games. Their preseason slate includes covers at the altitude of Colorado St, at Georgia, at Virginia, with wins at Toledo and Washington, and a near miss against Michigan St on a neutral court. Clearly they will not flinch at the sight of Valpo’s Rec Center. This all plays out with a solid set of numbers that finds Oakland averaging 87 PPG, while shooting 46% from the field, and knocking down 9 triples per game at 39%. They seal the deal with 77% foul shooting. Fundamentally, they are sound with positives in the rebound margin, assist/TO margin, and net TO margin. In a mid-week made for TV ESPN game, Oakland whipped Wright St 89-17, the team who three days earlier had defeated Valpo. Getting nearly double digits with this team is a bonus regardless of whom they play.

I invite you to put the NCAA Basketball odds in your favor and join me in my NCAA Basketball pick on Oakland plus the points.

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