The Valparaiso Crusaders (19-15) meet the Bradley Braves (22-11) in the Missouri Valley Conference title game Sunday at 2:05 p.m. ET at the Enterprise Center in St. Louis. We analyze the Valparaiso-Bradley odds and betting lines, while providing college basketball betting tips and advice on this matchup.
Valparaiso vs. Bradley: Three things you need to know
1. The 7-seed Crusaders of Valpo have been Cinderella in the conference tourney colloquially referred to as ‘Arch Madness’. Valpo topped Evansville 58-55 on Thursday, stunned Loyola-Chicago 74-73 in OT Friday, then dumped Missouri State 89-82 Saturday in a 6-7 game to punch their ticket to the final.
2. The 4-seed Braves of Bradley are less of a surprise to be in the title game. They snuck by Southern Illinois 64-59 in the quarters Friday before racking up a 10-point win over another upstart, Drake, by a 76-66 score.
3. Bradley and Valpo split their regular-season series, with the Braves winning 80-69 Jan. 29 and the Crusaders winning 90-78 Feb. 22. Both games saw the home team win and the Over hit.
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Valparaiso vs. Bradley: Odds, betting lines and picks
Bradley 79, Valparaiso 76
Valparaiso is the underdog in this one at +135. While I expect a tight game, I like BRADLEY -162 to hold the Crusaders off in this one.
New to sports betting? A $10 successful bet on Bradley to win outright returns a profit of $6.17.
Against the Spread (ATS)
Valparaiso (+2.5, +100) hasn’t been terribly steady all season, but the Crusaders are playing their best basketball of the season and have been cover kings lately. The Crusaders finished the regular season 6-1 ATS in their final seven games — including that straight-up win over Bradley (-2.5, -121 for Sunday’s game) Feb. 22 — and they’re 3-0 SU/2-1 ATS in the MVC tourney so far.
The Braves might sneak away with a ticket to the dance, but the Crusaders will make them work for it. A slight lean here for BRADLEY -2.5 (-121).
The Over in the two regular-season meetings between Valpo and Bradley, and taking OVER 132.5 (-110) is a good play Sunday. The Over has hit in the past two for the Crusaders, including an 89-point performance by their offense against Missouri State in Saturday’s semis. Bradley hit the over in their final five of the regular season, while going 1-1 with the total in the tourney so far.
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