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Loyola of Chicago vs. Southern Illinois - 12/30/15 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Southern Illinois Salukis (11-2) at Loyola of Chicago Ramblers (6-5)

College Basketball: Wednesday, December 30, 2015 at 8:00 pm (Joseph J. Gentile Center)

The Line: Loyola of Chicago Ramblers +1 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds

TV: ESPN 3; The Valley; Fox Sports Midwest; Comcast Sportsnet – Chicago; ESPN College Extra

The Sothern Illinois Salukis will travel to the Joseph J. Gentile Center to take on the Loyola (CHI) Ramblers this Wednesday night in College Basketball action.

The Southern Illinois Salukis won their 3rd straight game and improved to 11-2 (0-0 MVC) on the season after defeating the Saint Louis Billikens, 65-52, on December 21st. Sothern Illinois was down by two points at halftime but used a strong defensive effort in the 2nd half to outscore Saint Louis by a 34-19 margin to secure the double-digit victory. Sothern Illinois struggled a bit on the offensive end as they shot just 34.8% from the field however, did outrebound Saint Louis by a 45-38 margin. The Salukis held the Billikens to 36.2% shooting from the field, 16.7% (3-18) shooting from beyond the arc, and won the turnover battle by a 12-4 margin. Leading the way for Sothern Illinois was Anthony Beane who had 19 points, 3 rebounds, and 2 assists. On the season, the Salukis have been led by Anthony Beane (20.5 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 1.7 apg), Sean O’Brien (13.8 ppg, 6.7 rpg, 1.2 bpg), and Mike Rodriguez (10.9 ppg, 2.2 rpg, 3.7 apg). Offensively, Sothern Illinois is averaging 79.2 ppg on 47.5% shooting from the field and 35.8% shooting from beyond the arc. The Salukis are averaging 7.1 three-pointers per game and have an assist/turnover ratio of 0.95. Defensively, Sothern Illinois is holding their opponents to an average of 68.8 ppg on 43.8% shooting from the field. The Salukis have a rebound margin of 1.9 and a turnover margin of 3.9.

Loyola of Chicago vs. Southern Illinois - 12/30/15 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction

USA TODAY Sports

The Loyola (CHI) Ramblers won their 2nd straight game and improved to 7-5 (0-0 MVC) on the season after defeating the Western Illinois Leathernecks, 72-67, on December 21st. Loyola (CHI) jumped out of the gates quickly in this one gaining a 38-25 halftime lead and was able to hang-on for the win after Western Illinois cut the lead to five late in the 2nd half. Loyola (CHI) shot 50.0% from the field and 40.0% (6-15) from beyond the arc in the victory. The Ramblers held the Leathernecks to 40.0% shooting from the field and was outrebounded by Western Illinois by a 36-28 margin. Leading the way for Loyola (CHI) was Montel James who had 21 points, 8 rebounds, 2 blocks, and an assist from off the bench. On the season, the Ramblers have been led by Milton Doyle (12.6 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 3.7 apg), Devon Turk (12.0 ppg, 2.7 rpg), and Montel James (11.0 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 1.1 bpg). Offensively, Loyola (CHI) is averaging 65.7 ppg on 43.3% shooting from the field and 37.3% shooting from beyond the arc. The Ramblers average 6.6 three-pointers per game and have an assist/turnover ratio of 0.96. Defensively, Loyola (CHI) is holding their opponents to an average of 64.2 ppg on 42.7% shooting from the field. The Ramblers have rebound margin of -3.0 and a turnover margin of 1.8.

The Salukis are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 road games and 8-2 ATS in their last 10 games following a straight up win. The Ramblers are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 vs. MVC opponents and 2-6 ATS in their last 8 games overall.

It was hard to predict how the Southern Illinois season would go after five players of the team decided to leave the program in the offseason but I don’t even think the Salukis themselves, could imagine that they would be 11-2 at this point of the season. Loyola (CHI) has had an up and down season to date and although they are a solid team at home, have really struggled at the offensive end. This game will feature two of the better players in the MVC in Anthony Beane (Southern Illinois) and Milton Doyle (Loyola CHI) but I’m leaning towards the Salukis as I think their defense will help them stay perfect on the road in this one. Take Southern Illinois to cover this small spread. 

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Southern Illinois Salukis -1

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