Oregon State vs Loyola-Chicago Betting Preview
The game will be televised on CBS, Saturday, March 27th at 2:40 PM Eastern.
The Beavers stayed hot after their Pac-12 conference tournament win and defeated Tennessee and Oklahoma State on their way to the Sweet Sixteen. Loyola defeated Georgia Tech and Illinois to make their second Sweet Sixteen in the last four years.
Oregon State Betting Preview
When Oregon State started 1-3 against Division 1 opponents, including a home loss to Portland, who finished 6-15 and ranked 323rd by Kenpom, an NCAA Tournament berth seemed like a pipe dream.
The Beavers then righted the ship and finished 10-10 in Pac-12 conference games, which is an enormous feat for one of the perennial bottom dwellers in the conference. Oregon State ended their season by winning 8 of their last nine games.
The run in the conference tournament was even more impressive considering they won all three games against NCAA Tournament teams in UCLA, Oregon, and Colorado. It was Oregon State’s first tournament appearance since 2016, and they won their first tournament game since 1982.
Ethan Thompson is the best player for the Beavers. He leads the team in scoring (15.6), assists (3.8), and steals (1.2). Jared Lucas is the team’s second-leading scorer at 13 points per game, and it is the best three-pointer shooter on the team at 39%.
Oregon State is ranked 49th by Kenpom. The offense is 41st in efficiency, and the defense ranks 68th.
Loyola Betting Preview
We knew Loyola was one of the more underrated teams, but what they did to Illinois was almost unbelievable. The Illini were one of the hotter teams in the nation, and they severely outplayed and outcoached them.
Everyone knows the miraculous run the Ramblers had to the Final Four in 2018. The truth is, this team is much better than that squad, and it really isn’t even close.
Cameron Krutwig was the Missouri Valley Conference player of the year and a third-team All-American. Krutwig leads the team in scoring (15.0), rebounds (6.9), and blocks (1.1).
Lucas Williamson, who is really known more for his defense, has been a big-time scorer of late. He has scored in double figures in five of the last six games.
Kenpom has Loyola as the 9th ranked team in the nation. The offense is 35th in efficiency, and the defense comes in as the best overall defense in the country.
Loyola are a 6.5-point favorite, and the total is set at 125.5 points.
Free Betting Pick
If you are looking for a high-scoring up-tempo game, this isn’t for you. Both teams rank at the bottom of college basketball in tempo.
They both teams are playing extremely well, with Loyola having won 18 of 19 and the Beavers winning 8 of 9.
I think this Loyola defense is just too good for an Oregon State offense that has struggled most of the year. I do think the over is the smart play as both teams have scored well during the tournament.
Loyola 71, Oregon State 65
Free Pick: Over 125.5
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