Loyola-Chicago vs Saint Joseph's Prediction - Basketball Picks 3/7/23

Saint Joseph's Hawks (14-16) vs Loyola-Chicago Ramblers (10-20)

Game Info: Tuesday, March 7, 2023 at 2:00 pm (Barclays Center)

Betting Odds: Saint Joseph's Hawks -3.5 -- Over/Under: 144.5 Click Here for the Latest Odds

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The Loyola Chicago Ramblers and the Saint Joseph’s will meet in Brooklyn to face off in the first round of the Atlantic 10 Championship at the Barclays Center on ESPN+. St. Joe’s won both matchups this season by double figures.

Loyola Chicago closed at 10-20 after defeating La Salle in Philly. The Ramblers held off the Explorers in the second half to win by three. Loyola is scoring 67.4 points per game, while allowing 72.5 and shooting 46.4% from the floor.

Loyola snuck back into the win column to close their first regular season in the A10 on a decent note, and they’ll look to leave their mark on the conference tournament this week. Junior forward Philip Alston finished as Loyola’s leader in scoring (14.5) and rebounding (5.5) after a solid month of February, and he double-doubled in the first meeting with St. Joe’s. Veteran point guard and one of the final pieces from the recent glory years Braden Norris scored 25 points in the home matchup with the Hawks, and he’s averaging 10.9 ppg, and a team-lead 3.9 apg.

Saint Joseph’s finished at 14-16 after beating Richmond at Hawk Hill. The Hawks controlled both halves to down the Spiders by sixteen, 83-67. St. Joe’s is scoring 72.5 points per game, while allowing 72.9 ppg, and shooting 42.9% from the field.

St. Joe’s ended a four-game skid with the win over UR, and they’ll look to defeat Loyola for the third time this season. SJU plays through the strength of their backcourt, and they’re led by Erik Reynolds II. The sophomore guard closed the season with back-to-back 33-point outings, and he leads SJU in scoring at 19.4 ppg. Second-year guard Lynn Greer III has lived up to his father’s name down the stretch, and after scoring 20 points or more in five of the last seven games, he’s posting a nice line of 12.3 ppg, 5.0 rpg, and a team-lead 4.0 apg. Four-year starter Cameron Brown leads the Hawks in rebounding (5.9), while scoring 13.3 ppg. 

Loyola is 9-21 against the spread this season, with a 16-13-1 over/under record. St. Joe’s is 17-13 ATS this year, with a 15-14-1 o/u record.

St. Joe’s has capitalized on the rare opportunity to play bully in conference play, and I think they complete the trifecta. Despite the final results down the stretch, Erik Reynolds II and Lynn Greer III looked a lot like an infamous SJU backcourt we all remember in Jameer Nelson and Delonte West offensively. Guard play is what you lean on in March, and after beating the Ramblers twice, the Hawks have their number. I like St. Joe’s coming to play at the Barclays and covering for this first round matchup.

Corey’s Pick St. Joe's -3.5

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

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