Sunday College Basketball Odds, Picks, Predictions for Loyola Chicago vs. Missouri State

Sunday College Basketball Odds, Picks, Predictions for Loyola Chicago vs. Missouri State article feature image

Michael Allio/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Loyola Chicago guard Lucas Williamson

  • Can Missouri State cover as a short favorite to sweep the season series against Loyola Chicago?
  • Find Loyola Chicago vs. Missouri State odds below, complete with our college basketball analyst's pick.
  • Hint: He's betting on the team with a tendency to surge late in the season to cover the spread and win.

Loyola Chicago vs. Missouri State Odds

Sunday, Feb. 6
2 p.m. ET
Loyola Chicago Odds
-110o / -110u
Missouri State Odds
-110o / -110u
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute college basketball odds here.

The Loyola Chicago Ramblers will hit the road and look to earn a split in the season series against the Missouri State Bears.

The last time these teams met, Missouri State ended Loyola Chicago's 30-game win streak at home with a 79-69 victory. Meanwhile, the Ramblers have won 10 of their last 12 road games, including the last two in Springfield. They hold a 10-8 lead in the all-time series, winning three of the last five meetings with the Bears.

Missouri State is coming off its second win in a row, having won nine of the last 11. In the Bears' last game, they defeated Southern Illinois, 69-54. They're also 21-9 in their last 30 conference games and have posted a 9-3 record at home so far this season. However, they're just 5-6 against the spread (ATS) on their home court.

Loyola Chicago earned its 23rd consecutive victory over a team from the state of Illinois, taking down Illinois State 78-64 the last time out. The Ramblers are currently tied with Drake for first place in the Missouri Valley Conference, but head into February looking to make a push as they have in the past. They won 14 of their final 15 games last season, six of the final seven the season before that, three of the final four in 2018-19, and 14 of the last 15 in 2017-18.

A late push to end the season has been a staple of Ramblers basketball. Can they keep this win streak alive for the rest of the season?

Loyola Chicago Ramblers

The Loyola Chicago offense is averaging 73.9 points per game and has been the best in the Missouri Valley Conference when it comes to scoring margin, currently +12.5. The Ramblers are also the best shooting team in the MVC, posting a FG% of 48.4%, which has also helped them earn the eighth-best effective field goal percentage in the country at 56.3%.

The Ramblers are led by Lucas Williamson, who has scored 20 or more points four times this season. He currently averages 13 points per game while leading the team in rebounds and steals at 4.7 and 1.2 per contest. Williamson has also been named to the Julius Erving Award watchlist, which is presented to the top small forward in the nation.

Loyola Chicago struggles on offense have all been at the rim, ranking 296th nationally in offensive rebounding percentage as well as 322nd in block percentage on offense. Both are areas Missouri State has been effective in and could disrupt the Ramblers offense.

On defense, the Ramblers are 26th in the nation in scoring defense, holding teams to just 62.6 points per contest. And they have been ever better of late, giving up an average of just 49.5 points per game over their last four wins. Over that span, their opponents have shot just 35% from the floor and 27% from deep.

They are also the best team in the MVC in turnover margin and assist/turnover ratio, but the Bears aren't far off at third in turnover margin and second in assist/turnover ratio.

I expect whichever team wins the turnover battle to come away with the W as well.

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Missouri State Bears

The Missouri State Bears score more than any other team in the Missouri Valley Conference currently averaging 78.5 points per game. They also rank first in the conference in free throw shooting, hitting at 79% — considerably better than the Ramblers, who make just 72.4% and rank seventh.

Isiaih Mosley is one of the best guards in the country and enters the weekend as the league’s leading scorer, averaging 21 points per game while also racking up 5.8 rebounds and 2.1 assist per game. He is a consistent threat from anywhere on the floor, connecting on 45.8% from three-point range and 51.3% overall.

Missouri State has been solid on defense, holding teams to 67.4 points per contest. But against a strong Ramblers team, the Bears will need to be forces in the paint and make the most of turnovers if they want to complete the series sweep this season.

Loyola Chicago vs. Missouri State Betting Pick

Missouri State has already beat Loyola Chicago once this season, and the Bears have been even better at home, but I'm betting on the Ramblers to step up in the final push to end the season as they've consistently done in the past and pick up the win to split the season series — their defense is firing on all cylinders of late, and that should continue against the Bears.

Loyola opened as a 1-point dog, and if the points are there to take, you should. I was only able to get the Ramblers at -115 on the moneyline, but I would bet them as high as -2 (compare real-time college basketball odds here).

Pick: Loyola Chicago -2 or better

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Doug Ziefel
Jun 23, 2024 UTC