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The Loyola Chicago Ramblers will host the Valparaiso Crusaders in MVC action Tuesday evening from the Joseph J. Gentile Center. The Crusaders recorded a 65-61 road win over Southern Illinois in their latest action, and the Ramblers are coming off a 67-64 home win over Illinois State. Loyola Chicago defeated Valparaiso in both meetings last season.
Valparaiso Targets Sixth Consecutive Victory
The Valparaiso Crusaders enter this one riding a five game winning streak. They lifted their MVC record to 4-0 with a 65-61 road win over Southern Illinois on Saturday in a matchup that had Valpo labeled as 8.5 point underdogs. The Crusaders were able to shoot a solid 48% from the field, while holding Southern Illinois to a 38.5% clip. Derrik Smits led the way offensively with 16 points along with eight rebounds in the winning effort. The junior center is a force down low, and he features a sizzling 62% field goal percentage paired with 12.2 PPG and 6.5 RPG.
Markus Golder chipped in with 10 points on a 5 for 12 mark from the field in Saturday’s triumph. The junior guard is 8 for 20 from the field in his last two games, and he stands third in team scoring with 10.2 PPG. The Crusaders played without scoring leader Ryan Fazekas (12.7 PPG) in Saturday’s win, and he is questionable for this one with an ankle injury.
— Valpo Athletics (@valpoathletics) January 13, 2019
Valparaiso is currently placed at 170th overall in Ken Pomeroy’s college basketball rankings, and they hold a solid 4-2 road record. The Crusaders haven’t been scoring a ton of points, although they are accurate from the field. They are averaging 72.5 points, ranking them 220th overall. Valparaiso’s defense has been excellent in their 4-0 start in MVC play, and they are holding opponents to 67.1 points, good for 79th in the country.
Ramblers Record Third MVC Win
The Loyola Chicago Ramblers improved to 3-1 in MVC play with a narrow 67-64 home win over Illinois State on Saturday in a game that had the Ramblers favored by 9 points. The Ramblers were able to sink 50% of their field goals, while holding Illinois State to a 48% efficiency. Ramblers’ leading scorer Marques Townes was sharp in the defeat, registering 21 points on 9 for 18 shooting. The senior guard has surpassed 20 points in two out of his last three games, and he is averaging 14.3 PPG on 47% shooting.
Cameron Krutwig is also playing well, posting at least a 55% clip from the field in four straight games which included 13 points and 8 boards in Saturday’s win. The sophomore center is averaging 13.4 PPG and 7.4 PG on the season.
#Loyola was clutch down the stretch and earned a 67-64 victory over in-state rival Illinois State Saturday afternoon! @Marq_Towne5 led the way with 21 points. https://t.co/uwHImS76mo #OnwardLU #MVCHoops pic.twitter.com/T8Tm81TKhN
— Loyola Men's Basketball (@RamblersMBB) January 12, 2019
The Ramblers are ranked at 95th in the nation in Ken Pomeroy’s college basketball rankings, and they feature a 7-3 home record. They have won three out of their last four games behind outstanding defensive play. Loyola Chicago is not a high-scoring team, averaging 68.3 points, ranking them down at 299th overall. The Ramblers are holding opponents to 61.1 points, good for 10th in the country.
The Loyola Chicago Ramblers are:
- 1-4 ATS in their last 5 home games against a team with a winning road record.
- 4-16-1 ATS in their last 21 home games against a team with a road winning percentage above .600.
- 3-8 ATS in their last 11 games against a team with a winning record.
The Valparaiso Crusaders are:
- 5-0 ATS in their last 5 games against Loyola Chicago.
- 5-2 ATS in their last 7 road games.
- 7-3 ATS in their last 10 conference games.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
I am siding with Valparaiso in this matchup. Valparaiso is locked in, winning five consecutive games including their first four conference games. They are playing stifling defense, holding their opposition to an average of only 58.8 points in their last five games.
Furthermore, Loyola Chicago has only scored 48 and 67 points respectively in their last two games against Evansville and Illinois State, and they failed to cover in both of those games. Valparaiso has won two straight road games in two contests that had them as the underdog, and I am confident backing them in this one.
Prediction: Valparaiso Crusaders
Full-Game Total Pick
This should be a low-scoring game. The Crusaders have allowed 61 or fewer points in three of their four conference games on the season, and the under is 5-1 in their last six games overall, and 4-1 in their last five games following an ATS win.
In addition, the Ramblers are one of the better defensive teams in the entire country. They have only allowed an average of 58.8 points in their last five games, and the under is 9-3 in their last 12 home games.
Full-Game Prop Bet
Valparaiso should be able to come through with a solid defensive effort. The Ramblers could have a tough time against a strong Valparaiso defense that is holding opponents to 42.7% shooting on the season. The Crusaders held Bradley to 50 points two games ago, and they just limited Southern Illinois to 61 points on 38.5% clip from the field in their latest action.
Prediction: Loyola Chicago Team Total: Under
Half-Time Total Bet
The under on the halftime total is also a strong play. Valparaiso has only conceded an average of 22.3 points in the first half in their last three games. Also, Loyola Chicago has only allowed an average of 26 points in the first half in their last three games.