BYU vs. Loyola Marymount College Basketball Odds, Picks, Predictions: Fade the Cougars Again? (Thursday, February 10)
Photo by Lizzy Barrett/Getty Images. Pictured: Eli Scott (Loyola Marymount)
- BYU attempts to snap a four-game losing streak as it takes on Loyola Marymount.
- The Cougars have dropped games to Santa Clara, Pacific, San Francisco and Gonzaga over that four-game losing stretch.
- D.J. James breaks down what side to back in this WCC affair.
BYU vs. Loyola Marymount Odds
-110o / -110u
|Loyola Marymount Odds|
-110o / -110u
BYU hits the road to play a team that is also ailing from multiple consecutive losses, the Loyola Marymount Lions.
Both squads are dealing with significant injuries. LMU has been without Dameane Douglas since January 24, and it has yet to win a game without him on the floor.
BYU has been playing without Gavin Baxter — who is out for the season — and now, Te’Jon Lucas sustained a concussion and is questionable for this matchup.
Lucas is an anchor for this offense, so even if he plays on a minutes restriction, this is detrimental to the flow of the BYU attack.
LMU isn’t a top-tier WCC team, but it should have the offensive wherewithal to hang with the Cougars for much of this game. The Lions have suffered tight losses in two of their last three affairs — against Saint Mary’s and Santa Clara — so this should bode well for a potential cover.
Since losing on a buzzer beater to Santa Clara, the Cougars have dropped games to Pacific, San Francisco and Gonzaga.
The latter two were not even particularly close, and Lucas played in that San Francisco game.
The Cougars might be able to right the ship, even though they landed on this week’s bubble in Joe Lunardi’s Bracketology. Regardless, they need this win desperately.
The Cougars are weak defensively on the interior. Fousseyni Traore is their best inside defender, and Loyola Marymount thrives when it can get the ball inside.
Only 29.2% of Lions’ points this season have come from beyond the arc. They shoot 51.9% from 2-point range, so they will exploit BYU’s weakness.
If Traore is not on the court, Caleb Lohner will need to fill his shoes. Otherwise, Eli Scott and Keli Leaupepe could be significant mismatches.
BYU will have the rebounding advantage, though. It ranks 108th and 25th in offensive and defensive rebounding percentage, respectively, versus 222nd and 211st for the Lions.
Traore and Lohner can haul in the boards, so even if the frontcourt of BYU struggles on defense, the Cougars should be fine in this category.
LMU’s greatest detriment this season has been turnovers, as the Lions rank 310th in turnover percentage on offense (21%). This is abysmal, but luckily, BYU doesn’t cause much havoc for opponents this season — even with a strong overall defensive unit.
The Cougars rank 325th in defensive turnover percentage, so this could play into the Lions’ hands.
The Lions do, however, need to limit the 3-point attack from Alex Barcello and the rest of the Cougars. With no Lucas, LMU will be in better shape, as it has one less guy to center in on defensively.
Barcello is the sharp shooter, but Trevin Knell and Seneca Knight are also extremely efficient from the outside.
The Lions will have to take a page out of Gonzaga and San Francisco’s defensive playbook because both limited BYU to less than 25% from downtown.
Pacific is probably more comparable to the Lions’ lackluster perimeter guarding, though.
The Tigers allow 38.4% of 3s to fall for the opposition on the season, but managed to only allow only Barcello to get hot from 3. He was 4-of-9 from outside, but other than him, BYU only hit three other 3-pointers on the night.
BYU vs. Loyola Marymount Betting Pick
BYU struggles on the inside, and if Lucas is hobbled, it has less of a dynamic playmaker at the point guard position. This will make it tough to find open looks, even against a poor defensive team in LMU.
This is more of a position to fade BYU, yet again, than it is favorable to Loyola Marymount.
If the rebounding margin is not too wide, and the Lions can limit the outside attack from the Cougars, the home underdog cover will be in play.
Pick: Loyola Marymount +8 (Play to +6.5)
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