The Loyola Chicago Ramblers (15-3, 6-1 MVC) take on the Southern Illinois Salukis (10-10, 3-5 MVC) in a Thursday night Missouri Valley Conference showdown. These two teams are playing for the second game in a row, with Loyola defeating SIU, 59-47, on Tuesday night.
Thursday’s contest tips off at 8 p.m. EST inside the Banterra Center in Carbondale, IL. Loyola is a 6.5-point favorite in the bout, and the over-under total for the contest is 124.5 points.
What to Know – Loyola Ramblers
Loyola maintains their spot atop the MVC standings as we hit the halfway point of the conference basketball slate. The Ramblers are the prize of The Valley, ranking 29th in KenPom’s rankings and 25th in the NCAA NET rankings.
The Ramblers average 76.4 points on offense behind 49.2 percent shooting from the field and 38.9 percent shooting from the arc. On defense, Loyola surrenders 62.3 points per game, 41.7 percent from the floor, and 32.3 percent from the 3-point line.
Lucas Williamson poured in a game-high 20 points, hitting all three of his 3-point field goal attempts, in Tuesday night’s double-digit victory over the SIU. Braden Norris and Aher Uguak chipped in 13 points apiece. Loyola shot 42.2 percent from the floor and 36.8 percent from the arc.
Loyola is 7-9-1 against the spread this season with a 2-7 mark ATS on the road. The Ramblers are 1-4-1 over their previous six contests and 1-4 ATS over their last five games in Carbondale.
What to Know – Southern Illinois Salukis
Southern Illinois tries to get back into the win column after losing five of its last six games and falling to the middle of the conference pack. The Salukis are 129th in the KenPom and 144th in the NET rankings.
SIU scores 64.2 points per game thanks to an offense that averages 44.7 percent shooting from the floor and 35.5 percent shooting from three. Southern’s defense holds opponents to 61.3 points per game, 44.2 percent shooting from the field, and 31.4 percent shooting from beyond the arc.
In Tuesday night’s loss to the Ramblers, Ben Coupet Jr. paced the Salukis with 14 points. Marcus Domask was all over the glass, grabbing a season-high 13 boards and adding six points. Southern had an off-night shooting the rock, pouring in only 33.3 percent of their shot attempts from the field.
The Salukis own an 11-8 record ATS and a 6-2 showing ATS on their home floor. Southern Illinois sports a 6-1 record ATS over their last seven games and a 5-1 record ATS over their previous six at home.
The Pick is In
While we are not fans of conference foes facing each other in back-to-back games, that is not our battle to fight when capping the contest. Like many college teams, SIU tends to play much better on their home floor. Loyola pulls out the victory but looks for SIU to battle and keep it close until the end.
Betting Pick: Southern Illinois Salukis +6.5