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December 14, 2017

There is one pick tonight.

Take Northwestern -11 spread against Valparaiso for 3% of the bankroll.

The Valparaiso Crusaders have had a rough go of it their last couple of games and we don't believe things will get much better tonight when they travel to take on the Northwestern Wildcats. Valparaiso has dropped back-to-back games after starting the season with eight consecutive victories and is coming off a 71-70 setback to in-state-rival Ball State on a heartbreaking 3-pointer in the final seconds on Saturday. The Crusaders have lost six straight games to Big Ten opponents since the start of the 2012-13 season, including an 80-50 defeat to No. 17 Purdue last week. Valparaiso hasn't defeated a Power 5 opponent on the road since November 24th, 2015 and we don't believe their fortunes change here tonight, especially considering their best player, Tevonn Walker has been ruled out indefinitely.

Meanwhile, the Northwestern Wildcats were looking to build on the momentum they gained from last season, in making their first ever NCAA tournament berth, however, things haven't gone exactly as they had hoped, losing 4 of their opening nine games. That being said, they certainly have something to build on coming off a record-breaking performance against Chicago State where they held the Cougars to just 8 points in the first half of their matchup. This is a Northwestern team that should come into this matchup with a ton of confidence.

We just recently witnessed what Purdue did to Valparaiso last week and we believe Northwestern is on a similar level to Purdue. Had it not been for a couple of bad breaks late in games for the Wildcats, they could be ranked in the Top 25 this season. If the Northwestern can carry some of their momentum into this game and play the kind of defense that they did against the Cougars, this game could be over by halftime. Valparaiso may keep things close in the early going, however, the loss of Walker will hurt them in this contest in trying to penetrate what can be a suffocating NW defense. The Wildcats will open things up in the second half and come away with a convincing win and cover.

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