Loyola-Chicago vs. Valparaiso - 3/6/20 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Loyola-Chicago vs. Valparaiso - 3/6/20 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction Photo by Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports

Valparaiso Crusaders (17-15) at Loyola-Chicago Ramblers (21-10)

College Basketball: Friday, March 6, 2020 at 7:00 pm (Enterprise Center)

The Line: Loyola-Chicago Ramblers -3 -- Over/Under: 135.5 Click Here for the Latest Odds

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The Valparaiso Crusaders (17-15, 10-9 MVC) will meet the Loyola-Chicago Ramblers (21-10, 13-5 MVC) in St. Louis, MO for a Missouri Valley Conference Tournament Semifinal match-up at the Enterprise Center. Valparaiso won both the games these schools played against each other this year by a combined 5 points, but Loyola-Chicago covered the spread in both losses.

Valparaiso is 6-4 straight up and 7-3 against the spread in their last 10 games. Valparaiso is 10-9 straight up and 12-7 against the spread in conference games this season. Valparaiso has scored 71.9 points per game and allows 74.9 points per game to opponents, and the Crusaders have shot 44.2% from the field, 33.8% from 3 and 71.3% from the free-throw line in those games.

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Valparaiso has won 3 of its last 4 games, and in their last game, the Crusaders slipped past Evansville in the first round of the MVC 58-55 as a 7-point favorite. Valparaiso is ranked 141st by KenPom, with the 145th ranked offense and 171st ranked defense in the country. Valparaiso is led by Sophomore guard Javon Freeman-Liberty, who averages 19 points, 6 rebounds and 3.3 assists per game.

Loyola-Chicago is 7-3 straight up and 4-6 against the spread in their last 10 games. Loyola-Chicago has gone 13-5 straight up and 8-10 against the spread in conference games this year. Loyola-Chicago has scored 68.9 points per game and allows 62.4 points per game to opponents, and the Ramblers have shot 49.9% from the field, 36.6% from 3 and 65.6% from the free-throw line in those games.

Loyola-Chicago has won 6 of its last 7 games, and the Ramblers squeaked by Bradley 67-66 as a 2-point road underdog in their last game. Loyola-Chicago is ranked 101st by KenPom, with the 162nd ranked offense and the 71st ranked defense in the nation. Loyola-Chicago is led by Junior center Cameron Krutwig, who averages 15.3 points, 8 rebounds and 4.2 assists per game, and Junior guard Tate Hall, who averages 13 points, 3.9 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game.

Loyola-Chicago is 8-2 straight up and 6-4 against the spread in their last 10 meetings with Valparaiso, and the over is 5-5 during that stretch. The over is 5-5 in the last 10 games for Valparaiso and 7-3 in the last 10 for Loyola-Chicago.

These teams have played two very tightly contested games this season already, and in a game where both teams have to win the conference tournament to make it to the NCAA Tournament, I expect both of these programs to lay it all on the line tonight. The line is tight to reflect that and I think it probably ends right on the number, so I’ll take the points with Valparaiso because I think it’s such an even match-up.

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Erik’s Pick Valparaiso +3

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The pick in this article is the opinion of the writer, not a PickDawgz site consensus.

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