The Southern Illinois Salukis (11-8, 3-3 MVC) and the Loyola Chicago Ramblers (14-4, 4-2 MVC), who both like to play slow, will battle at Joseph J. Gentile Center. The games Over/Under (O/U) has been set at 134.5 points with Loyola Chicago opening as an 8-point favorite. Action begins at 8 p.m. ET on Wednesday, January 17, 2018.
Southern Illinois Salukis vs. Loyola Chicago Ramblers Free Preview
The Salukis defeated the Illinois State Redbirds in their last game, 74-70. Armon Fletcher was the games high scorer with 26 points on 9-for-14 shooting. Southern Illinois played a nearly flawless game. They had a fantastic free throw rate of 0.347 (above their season average of 0.214) and a turnover percentage of 21.2 (worse than their season average of 16.5). Illinois State was 0.059 and 26.8, respectively, for those same stats.
In the Ramblers last matchup, they beat the Bradley Braves, 81-65. Loyola Chicago was lifted by Cameron Krutwig, who was the games high scorer with 21 points on 10-for-15 shooting. Loyola Chicago dominated nearly every stat category in the game. They had a solid free throw rate of 0.308 (above their season average of 0.262) and an effective field goal percentage of 0.625 (above their season average of 0.573). Bradley was 0.169 and 0.466, respectively, for those same stats.
Half-court execution will be of utmost importance when two of the nations slowest-paced teams battle. Loyola Chicago currently ranks 330th in possessions per game (66.2) and Southern Illinois is 297th (67.5).
Games involving these teams tend to finish under the projected point total. Southern Illinois games have finished under 57.1 percent of the time, while Loyola Chicago games have gone under 57.1 percent of the time. The Ramblers hold a sizable advantage in both straight up (SU) and against the spread (ATS) records. They are 14-4 SU and 9-5 ATS, while the Salukis are 11-8 SU and 4-9-1 ATS.
Fletcher has taken his game to another level over the last five games for Southern Illinois, averaging 16.0 points and 7.8 rebounds per game.
This will be the first matchup of the year between these two teams. The Salukis won all three meetings played against each other last season. In the most recent game, Southern Illinois won 55-50. The Salukis 19.3 turnover percentage was their biggest advantage over the Ramblers, who had a mark of 24.5.
Southern Illinois Salukis at Loyola Chicago Ramblers Free Prediction
Predictions: SU Winner – Loyola Chicago, ATS Winner – Southern Illinois, O/U – Under
- The Salukis rank 219th in three pointers attempted per game (18.9) while the Ramblers rank 241st (17.8).
- On the road, Southern Illinois is 2-5-1 ATS with 4 overs and 4 unders.
- Loyola Chicago is 3-3 ATS at home with 4 overs and 2 unders.
- Loyola Chicago ranks 21st in rebounds allowed per game (31.0) while Southern Illinois ranks 124th (34.6).
- The Salukis rank 71st in steals per game (7.1) while the Ramblers rank 136th in steals allowed per game (6.8).
- Southern Illinois ranks 34th in blocks allowed per game (2.6) while Loyola Chicago ranks 87th (3.4).
- Loyola Chicago is 3-2 ATS with 4 unders and 1 over in their last five games.
- Over their last five games, Southern Illinois is 0-4-1 ATS with 3 unders and 2 overs.
- The Ramblers average margin of victory in their last five games has been 6.4, down from 8.2 for the season.
- During their last five games, the Salukis have scored an average of 68.0 points per game (2.6 below their season average) and allowed an average of 70.8 points per game (2.7 above their season average).