The Loyola Chicago Ramblers (21-5, 11-3 MVC) will try to extend their five-game home winning streak when they clash against the Valparaiso Crusaders (13-14, 4-10 MVC), who look to snap their eight-game road losing streak. Loyola Chicago is an 11-point favorite on the opening line, while the Over/Under (O/U) for the game opened at 136 points. Action starts at 8 p.m. ET on Wednesday, February 14, 2018.
Valparaiso Crusaders at Loyola Chicago Ramblers Odds Preview
The Crusaders beat the Illinois State Redbirds in their last matchup, 74-58. With 14 points, six rebounds and five assists, Valparaiso’s Tevonn Walker put together a solid game. Valparaiso played a flawless game. They had a free throw rate of 0.200 (below their season average of 0.271) and an effective field goal percentage of 0.573 (above their season average of 0.502). Illinois State was 0.103 and 0.448, respectively, for those same stats.
The last time the Ramblers played, they beat the Indiana State Sycamores, 75-71. Loyola Chicago received a boost from Donte Ingram, who led the team in scoring with 17 points on 6-for-12 shooting. The Ramblers knocked down 18 of their 23 free throws (78.3 percent) and had an effective field goal percentage of 0.633 (above their season average of 0.583).
This battle figures to be low-scoring as a pair of the nation’s best defenses face off. Loyola Chicago currently ranks 16th in defensive efficiency (95.1) and Valparaiso is 31st (96.5).
Of Valparaiso’s 24 games that accepted bets, 17 have finished under the projected point total, while 12 of Loyola Chicago’s 22 games have finished under the O/U total. Looking at straight up (SU) and against the spread (ATS) records, the Ramblers have a clear advantage. They are 21-5 SU and 16-6 ATS, while the Crusaders are 13-14 SU and 11-12-1 ATS.
Both teams have had a player trending in the right direction over their last five games. For the Crusaders, it’s been Bakari Evelyn, who has averaged 17.0 points, 3.4 assists and 1.8 steals, while the Ramblers have received solid contributions from Clayton Custer (19.0 points, 4.2 assists and 2.0 steals).
These teams have already met once this season. The Ramblers won 70-54. The Ramblers played a nearly perfect game. They had a turnover percentage of 11.6 and a superb offensive rebounding percentage of 30.0. The Crusaders had marks of 19.6 and 19.4, respectively, for those same stats. Custer had a stellar game, with 18 points and five assists.
Valparaiso Crusaders vs. Loyola Chicago Ramblers Prediction
Free Basketball Tip: SU Winner – Loyola Chicago, ATS Winner – Valparaiso, O/U – Under
- The Crusaders rank 212th in three pointers attempted per game (20.2) while the Ramblers rank 272nd (18.0).
- Valparaiso ranks 38th in blocks allowed per game (2.6) while Loyola Chicago ranks 82nd (3.2).
- Valparaiso is 6-8-1 ATS on the road, while Loyola Chicago is 7-3 ATS at home.
- The total has gone over in 6 of the Ramblers 10 home games, while 11 of the Crusaders 15 road games have gone under.
- Loyola Chicago ranks 49th in assists per game (15.9) while Valparaiso ranks 208th (12.4).
- The Crusaders rank 22nd in steals per game (7.9) while the Ramblers rank 144th in steals allowed per game (6.6).
- Loyola Chicago ranks 12th in rebounds allowed per game (30.5) while Valparaiso ranks 118th (34.1).
- Loyola Chicago is 4-1 ATS with 3 overs and 2 unders in their last five games.
- Over their last five games, Valparaiso is 2-2-1 ATS with 5 unders.
- The Ramblers average margin of victory in their last five games has been 12.4, up from 10.1 for the season.
- During their last five games, the Crusaders have scored an average of 65.2 points per game (4.9 below their season average) and allowed an average of 65.0 points per game (2.5 below their season average).