Loyola Chicago vs. Missouri State Odds & Pick: Ramblers Defense Will Be Too Much
Keith Gillett/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Cameron Krutwig
- Loyola Chicago is a big favorite over Missouri State after blowing out the Bears on Sunday night.
- The real story has been the Ramblers defense, which has held five of its last eight opponents to fewer than 50 points.
Loyola Chicago vs. Missouri State Odds
|Loyola Chicago Odds||-7.5|
|Missouri State Odds||+7.5|
|Time | TV||8 p.m. ET||ESPN+|
|Odds as of Monday morning and via DraftKings.|
Loyola Chicago completely embarrassed the Missouri State Bears on Sunday, beating them 72-46. It was never close as the Ramblers opened the game on a 22-2 run through the first 10 minutes and never looked back.
Loyola Chicago dropped one conference game to Indiana State in early January, but has responded with a seven-game winning streak. The Ramblers have covered in six of those games and all seven have gone under the number.
Another Cinderella Story?
Everyone remembers Loyola Chicago’s Cinderella Final Four run in 2018. Since then, Porter Moser has focused on building a mid-major power house. The Ramblers are 16th in the KenPom ratings. At 14-3 overall and 9-1 in the Mountain Valley Conference, the Ramblers trail only unbeaten Drake, who leads the conference at 6-0.
Loyola Chicago is no slouch on offense, holding a solid 110.4 offensive rating. But this team thrives defensively with the fifth-best defensive efficiency ranking, allowing just 88.6 points on every 100 possessions.
Since losing to Indiana State, the Ramblers have won seven in a row through their defensive effort. They have allowed just 50.0 points per game in those seven contests, and haven’t allowed more than 60 points to an opponent since Jan. 10.
This is a senior-laden team that has leaned on its experience this season. Seniors have contributed 58.5% of the teams total points. Big man Cameron Krutwig is averaging 14.7 points, 5.7 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game while shooting 62.2% from the floor. Senior Guard Tate Hall has also had a strong season averaging 10.1 points per game in conference play this year.
Recap of Sundays Game
These teams matched up on Sunday and Loyola Chicago blew it wide open from the opening tip. The Ramblers jumped out to a 22-2 run in the first 10 minutes of the game and held a 41-16 advantage at halftime. The second half score was 31-30 but that came mostly against the Ramblers’ bench. They played 15 different players in the game.
The Bears had no answer for Krutwig, who posted 18 points, 8 rebounds, and 5 assists in just 23 minutes. Keith Clemons was a strong contributor for Loyola Chicago dropping 12 points on just five shots, and also grabbing 6 rebounds.
Missouri State was abysmal all around, shooting just 27.1% from the field making 16 of 59 shot attempts. The trend was the same behind the arc where the Bears shot 6 of 24 from deep.
Betting Analysis & Pick
Missouri State has typically held teams under their average field goal percentage this season, which wasn’t the case in the first matchup. In this game they will need to pick up the defensive effort and focus on slowing down Krutwig.
The Ramblers have picked up the defensive pressure as of late and never settle on that end of the court. They have held five of their last eight opponents to fewer than 50 points, which has caused the last seven games to go under the number.
That trend will continue Monday night since I don’t think bookmakers have given enough credit to this Loyola Chicago defense.
Pick: Under 135 | Play down to 134