Where: SIU Arena, Carbondale, Illinois
When: Saturday, January 12, 2019 4:00 pm Eastern
The Missouri Athletic Association (MAA) is front and center and we have a good one for you when the Valparaiso Crusaders travel to Carbondale for a contest with the Southern Illinois Salukis. Valpo is at the top of the MAA with a 3-0 conference record and the Salukis are 2-1 and hungry for their third conference victory in four tries.
Valpo 3-0 in MAA Play This Season
Valparaiso registered their third conference win of the season Tuesday night, with a solid, 61-50 home victory over Bradley. Freshman guard Javon Freeman scored 17 points with three steals and junior guard Markus Golder added nine points and eight rebounds for the Crusaders third victory of their AAC season. The Crusaders shot 49 percent from the floor, 36 percent from three point land and 55 percent from the charity stripe in their 61-50 victory over Bradley.
— Valpo Athletics (@valpoathletics) January 9, 2019
Valpo leading scorer Ryan Fazekas injured his ankle in the Bradley game and is listed as questionable for Saturday’s contest. Fazekis is also the best three-point shooter, knocking them down at a 44 percent clip this season.
The Crusaders score an average of 72 points and allow an average of 67 points per contest. Valparaiso is shooting 46 percent from the field, 34 percent from downtown and 69 percent from the charity stripe. Valpo averages a total of 35 rebounds, 16 assists and 14 turnovers this season.
Salukis Lose Tough Road Game to Drake University
Southern Illinois was rolling right along with an undefeated mark in conference play and then suffered an 82-70 road loss to Drake University. Senior guard Armon Fletcher came off the bench to lead the Salukis with 21 points, three rebounds and two assists and junior guard Eric McGill scored 17 points and six rebounds in a losing effort. The Salukis shot 46 percent from the floor, 31 percent from beyond the three-point line and 50 percent from the charity stripe in their road loss to Drake.
Head coach Barry Hinson's weekly press conference. #Salukis host league-leading Valpo on Saturday (3 p.m.) at SIU Arena.
Watch » https://t.co/zSfNp4konu
— Saluki Basketball (@SIU_Basketball) January 11, 2019
Southern Illinois isn’t reporting any injuries for Saturday’s game with Valpo.
The Salukis score an average of 69 points and allow an average of 68 points per game. Southern is shooting 47 percent from the field, 38 percent from long range and 70 percent from the free throw line. The Salukis average a total of 34 boards, 15 assists and 16 turnovers per game this season.
- Salukis are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 Saturday games.
- Under is 4-1 in Crusaders last 5 overall.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
Southern Illinois should be able to cover the eight points, especially with Fazakis being ruled out for this game. Valpo is just a .500 team on the road and without their leader, I don’t think they have much of a chance on Saturday. The defense are nearly identical and I have to roll with the Salukis on Saturday!
Prediction: Southern Illinois -8 Points
Full-Game Total Pick
This should be a low scoring game between two decent defenses that know how to limit points against two offenses that are a bit above average. KenPom suggests that Southern is the better offensive squad and I agree. I see this as a ten point Southern victory that will go under the 134 point total and I’m playing the under on Saturday.
Prediction: Under 134 points