Betting Arch Madness Semifinals: Will ‘Dogs Continue to Bark?

Betting Arch Madness Semifinals: Will ‘Dogs Continue to Bark? article feature image

Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Loyola Ramblers head coach Porter Moser yells at guard Lucas Williamson (1)

  • The MVC tournament aka "Arch Madness" continues Saturday.
  • Here we preview the Loyola-Chicago vs. Bradley and Drake vs. Northern Iowa quarterfinal round matchups.

In the first two rounds of Arch Madness, we’ve witnessed Valparaiso, Bradley and Northern Iowa — all underdogs against the spread — notch straight-up victories over Indiana State, Missouri State and Southern Illinois, respectively.

The Braves and Panthers are still alive, squaring off against Loyola-Chicago and Drake in the Missouri Valley Conference tournament semifinals.

Where’s the value in these two matchups? Let’s break them down.

>> All odds as of Saturday morning. Download The Action Network App to get real-time NCAAB odds and live win probabilities on your bets.

Betting Odds: Loyola-Chicago Ramblers vs. Bradley Braves

  • Spread: Loyola -5.5
  • Over/Under: 123
  • Time: 3:35 p.m. ET
  • TV: CBS Sports Network

The first-seeded Ramblers are 15-16 against the spread and are coming off two consecutive ATS wins — including an outright victory over the Braves — after dropping four of their past five contests.

On the flip side, fifth-seeded Bradley (14-17 ATS) has covered in six of its past nine affairs.

Loyola split the regular-season series with its MVC foe both straight-up and ATS, but sophomore Lucas Williamson (broken hand) didn’t suit up in the loss. The 6-foot-4 wing represents Loyola’s best defender, tallying nine steals over his past three games.

Porter Moser’s crew has let up 0.97 points per possession since Williamson returned to the starting lineup, but the Ramblers’ biggest issue still stems from beyond the arc, letting up the highest 3-point clip (40.3%) and scoring rate (38.5%) in conference play.

Meanwhile, Brian Wardle’s unit has accrued the second-highest clip from 3-point range (39.1%) along with the third-highest 3-point scoring percentage (32.9%). It shot a combined 37.4% from the perimeter in its two matchups vs. Loyola-Chicago, so Darrell Brown (15.2 points per game) and company should be expected to continue to produce in that department.

At the other end, Bradley boasts the league’s fourth-rated Adjusted Defensive Efficiency (99.9 opponents’ points per possession), which matches up well against a Loyola attack that owns the MVC’s highest 2-point clip (55.1%). Much of the Ramblers’ offensive success comes in transition, so the Braves also need to be efficient offensively in order for their sound interior defense to have maximum impact.

The Ramblers knocked the Braves out of the conference tournament in the semifinals last year, covering -6.5 in the process. Expect Bradley to exact revenge en route to an ATS win.

THE PICK: Bradley +5.5

Betting Odds: Drake Bulldogs vs. Northern Iowa Panthers

  • Spread: Northern Iowa -1.5
  • Over/Under: 138
  • Time: 6:05 p.m. ET
  • TV: CBS Sports Network
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