Loyola Chicago vs. Drake College Basketball Odds & Pick: Bet the Ramblers To Cover In Des Moines
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images. Pictured: Cameron Krutwig.
Loyola Chicago vs. Drake Odds
|Loyola Chicago Odds||-5.5|
|Moneyline||-245 / +200|
|Time | TV||Sunday, 3 p.m. ET | ESPN2|
The Drake Bulldogs host the Loyola Chicago Ramblers for the second straight night of a back-to-back in another “small-but-mighty” showdown.
On Saturday, Loyola thrashed Drake by a score of 81-54, and this landed the Ramblers in KenPom’s top 10 for the first time this season.
The Ramblers have now won 11 straight, and they are looking to make that 12 with another road win against a shorthanded Drake team.
I’m expecting Drake to respond with much better rhythm and energy in its second game against the Ramblers. However, I don’t anticipate that this will slow down Loyola’s offensive tear enough to make much of a difference.
Yesterday’s contest between these two teams saw a Drake team shooting poorly from the field and giving up easy buckets on the defensive end that it hasn’t allowed all season.
This is surely in part to losing star player ShanQuan Hemphill to a foot injury a few days ago against Northern Iowa. Without Hemphill, the Bulldogs’ defense got exposed by Loyola, as it got to the line 25 times and shot a staggering 63.8% from the field.
Unfortunately for the Bulldogs, between needing to recalibrate their scheme due to injury and their cold streak (losing two of their last three games), it is evident that they are going to continue to struggle at least for the near future.
Can Loyola Stay Hot?
Under normal circumstances, I would be inclined to believe this type of offensive spectacle is an anomaly, but on this scalding hot streak that Loyola is riding, I highly anticipate a similar experience today.
The Ramblers are unbelievably well-coached and remind me a lot of the Butler teams back in the 2010s: disciplined, intense, technical, and extremely fundamental.
The Loyola train is running through stops right now, as its offensive efficiency sits in the upper echelon of other great teams (third in effective field goal percentage, per Hoop-Math).
This puts the Ramblers slightly behind the marvelous Gonzaga Bulldogs and ahead of the equally stunning Baylor Bears in that category.
What also stands out is Loyola’s extraordinary defense (fifth in adjusted defensive efficiency, per KenPom). In this huge 11-game win streak, it has held teams to fewer than 60 points in each game.
What To Expect
There are a few changes that I am expecting this game.
First, I don’t believe there will be a blowout similar to what we saw Saturday. Drake is mentally tough, and you have to be a very good team to be in any Division I league with a conference record of 10-2.
Secondly, it is not feasible to believe that Drake will get out-rebounded by a significant margin (10) like it did yesterday. The Bulldogs have a team that is drawn to the ball around the rim, as they currently stand at 15th in Team Total Rebounding percentage (per TeamRankings), even after an atrocious output yesterday.
This discrepancy will cease to exist the second time around. Lastly, I am expecting a more evenly-matched game. Drake may slip into the low 60s, while Loyola will hover around the low-to-mid-70s.
Regardless, Loyola should still comfortably win.
Betting Analysis & Pick
After carefully analyzing the Vegas line, I don’t believe oddsmakers gave Drake enough wiggle room to cover.
Drake has also been atrocious covering the spread as of late after an insanely hot start. Based on its first matchup on Saturday, I am fully anticipating a similar experience this time around.
The Bulldogs succumbed to the Ramblers’ slow style of play, which is maximizing offensive possessions, albeit fewer, and getting to the line.
There will be a sense of urgency from the Bulldogs on Sunday, and that will close the gap slightly but will certainly not see them playing Loyola to within two possessions.
With this deficient line, take the Ramblers winning up to 7.5.
Pick: Loyola Chicago -5.5 (up to -7.5).