MVC foes will collide when the Illinois State Redbirds (9-7, 3-1 MVC) meet the Loyola Chicago Ramblers (12-4, 2-2 MVC) at Redbird Arena. The games Over/Under (O/U) opened at 139 points with Illinois State set as a 1.5-point favorite. Tip-off is scheduled for 8 p.m. ET on Wednesday, January 10, 2018, and it can be seen on ESPN 3.
Loyola Chicago Ramblers at Illinois State Redbirds Odds Preview
The Ramblers beat the UNI Panthers in their last contest, 56-50. Clayton Custer led Loyola Chicago in scoring with 11 points on 4-for-12 shooting. Loyola Chicago played a nearly flawless game. They had a turnover percentage of 10.5 (better than their season average of 18.9) and a free throw rate of 0.167 (matching their season average). UNI was 17.8 and 0.115, respectively, for those same stats.
In the Redbirds last game, they topped the Missouri State Bears, 72-68. Illinois State rallied around Milik Yarbrough, who put up 23 points. The Redbirds had a fantastically low turnover percentage of 8.1 (better than their season average of 16.2) and had a free throw rate of 0.351 (above their season average of 0.223).
The offense of Illinois State (247th in the NCAA with an offensive efficiency of 102.1) will square off against the elite defense of Loyola Chicago (54th in the nation with a defensive efficiency of 95.8). The Ramblers should have the advantage on that side of the ball.
In terms of the O/U total, these teams are complete opposites. Games featuring Loyola Chicago have finished under 58.3 percent of the time, while 76.9 percent of Illinois State games have finished over. The Ramblers come into this game with a clear advantage in both straight up (SU) and against the spread (ATS) records. They are 12-4 SU and 7-5 ATS, while the Redbirds are 9-7 SU and 6-7 ATS.
Yarbrough has taken his game to another level over the last five games for Illinois State, averaging 22.6 points, 7.0 rebounds, 5.4 assists, 1.6 steals and 1.4 blocks per game.
This will be the first matchup of the year between these two teams. The Redbirds won both contests played against each other last season. In the last contest, Illinois State won 65-63. Illinois State had a much better offensive rebounding percentage (37.9 vs. 20.6). Loyola Chicago, meanwhile, had a much better turnover percentage (6.1 vs. 19.6).
Loyola Chicago Ramblers vs. Illinois State Redbirds Prediction
Predictions: SU Winner – Illinois State, ATS Winner – Loyola Chicago, O/U – Over
- The Redbirds rank 31st in steals allowed per game (5.2) while the Ramblers rank 123rd (6.9).
- Illinois State averages 3.8 blocks per game, which ranks 82nd in the nation. Loyola Chicago ranks 92nd in blocks allowed per game (3.6).
- On the road, Loyola Chicago is 5-2 ATS with 5 unders and 2 overs.
- Illinois State is 2-3 ATS at home with 3 overs and 2 unders.
- Loyola Chicago ranks 33rd in rebounds allowed per game (31.6) while Illinois State ranks 249th (41.0).
- The Redbirds rank 23rd in three pointers attempted per game (27.5) while the Ramblers rank 232nd (17.9).
- Loyola Chicago ranks 39th in assists allowed per game (11.4) while Illinois State ranks 176th (14.8).
- Illinois State is 2-3 ATS with 4 overs and 1 under in their last five games.
- Over their last five games, Loyola Chicago is 2-3 ATS with 5 unders.
- The Redbirds average margin of defeat in their last five games has been 2.2, up from 1.9 for the season.
- During their last five games, the Ramblers have scored an average of 58.8 points per game (13.1 below their season average) and allowed an average of 61.4 points per game (2.7 below their season average).