March Madness Sweet 16 Picks
Loyola Chicago ranks 35th on offense and 1st on defense, per KenPom. Oregon State ranks 41st on offense and 68th on defense. Oregon State comes into this game off two impressive victories over 5 seed Tennessee and 4 seed Oklahoma State. Loyola’s road here has gone through 9 seed Georgia Tech and 1 seed Illinois. Oregon State was not even expected to make the tournament and have been on a Cinderella run since the PAC-12 tournament. The PAC-12 has been red hot this tournament so far with 4 teams in the Sweet 16. Loyola Chicago has been dominating a weaker MVC conference all year and are a statistical darling, thus the high praise from KenPom. However, Loyola is more than just statistics. The Ramblers pass the eye test as well. Their strategic execution on offense and defense against Illinois was amazing. They held arguably the hottest team in the tournament to 58 points and won easily. Now, one of the best coaches in the country in Loyola’s Porter Moser is getting 5 days to prepare for a lessor opponent in Oregon State. I like the Ramblers to cover -6.5 and here are a few reasons why.
Oregon State beat Tennessee pretty easily. However, they won the rebounding battle, shot 48.2% from 2, and 47.6% from 3. Oregon State beat Oklahoma State by 10. They once again dominated the rebounding battle, shot 41.2 % from 2, and shot 30.0% from 3. They also shot an astounding 35 free throws and made 32. My point here is they won both games by some fluke things happening. One being they shot lights out and another being they shot 35 free throws. The problem for the Beavers is Loyola Chicago is one of the best defenses in the country and is equipped to handle these things. The Ramblers rank 92nd defending the 3, 55th defending the 2, and 45th in Defense Effective FG%. The Beavers rank 113th in 3 point shooting %, 275th in 2 point shooting %, and 216th in Offense Effective FG %. Clearly Loyola has the players to neutralize the hot shooting Beavers. Loyola also ranks 2nd in Defense Rebounding %, so Oregon State should not be able to dominate the boards like their previous two games. Oregon State also shouldn’t rely on free throws to save them either considering Loyola Chicago doesn’t foul a lot. They fouled 9 and 16 times in their two games this tournament. Oh a by the way, Loyola Chicago isn’t just good defensively. Their numbers offensively are elite as well. The Ramblers rank 68th in 3 point shooting %, 4th in 2 point shooting %, and 9th in Offense Effective FG %.
Loyola Chicago has the statistical advantage everywhere and they have an elite coach in Porter Moser with 5 days to prepare. Oregon State is hot, but they are due for some negative shooting regression and are up against one of the best defenses in the country. I’m backing Sister Jean and the numbers with Loyola Chicago -6.5 Saturday afternoon. Best of luck!
The Pick: Loyola -6.5 @ -107 (Click To Bet)
OddsChecker users are heavily backing Loyola Chicago to continue their impressive performances in the NCAA Tournament. Having already knocked off Illinois there is confidence in the Ramblers, who account for 71% of all bets on the moneyline and 65% of all bets against the spread. It appears that OddsChecker users don’t believe in the Oregon State Beavers reaching the Elite 8.
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Complete Sweet 16 Betting Preview
It’s not just Brandon who has been on form for OddsChecker during March Madness. We have a crack team of NCAA experts who have been breaking down the bracket as we’ve progressed through the NCAA Tournament.
Our very own Jamie Kelton, Drew Martin and Adam Trigger take an indepth look at the complete Sweet 16 slate HERE. Don’t miss on hearing what our professional handicappers are wagering on.
NCAA Tournament Expert Picks
Loyola -6.5 @ -107 (Click To Bet)