Loyola-Chicago vs. Evansville - 12/30/17 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction
Evansville Purple Aces (10-4) at Loyola-Chicago Ramblers (10-3)
College Basketball: Saturday, December 30, 2017 at 4:00 pm (Joseph J. Gentile Center)
The Line: Loyola-Chicago Ramblers -8 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds
TV: The Valley; Fox Sports - Midwest; NBC Sports - Chicago; ESPN College Extra
The Evansville Purple Aces will travel to the Joseph J. Gentile Center to take on the Loyola-Chicago Ramblers this Saturday afternoon in College Basketball action.
The Evansville Purple Aces lost their 2nd straight game and dropped to 10-4 (0-1 MVC) on the season after being defeated by the Illinois State Redbirds, 72-66, this past Saturday. In a tight back and forth game, Evansville couldn’t secure the win after the Redbirds finished the last 2:26 of regulation on a 7-0 run. Evansville shot 46.9% from the field and 10.0% (1-10) from beyond the arc in the loss. Leading the way for the Purple Aces was Ryan Taylor who had 22 points and 3 rebounds. On the season, Evansville is averaging 69.5 ppg on 47.1% shooting from the field. The Purple Aces are averaging 6.2 three-pointers per game on 46.3% shooting from beyond the arc. Offensively, Evansville has been led by Ryan Taylor (21.4 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 1.1 apg), Dru Smith (12.4 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 5.5 apg, 1.6 spg), Dru Smith (12.4 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 5.5 apg, 1.6 spg), Blake Simmons (11.9 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 2.3 apg), and Duane Gibson (8.4 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 2.5 apg, 1.4 spg). Defensively, Evansville is holding their opponents to an average of 65.6 ppg on 43.4% shooting from the field. The Purple Aces have a rebound margin of 3.1 and a turnover margin of -0.4. Dru Smith will miss this game as he will be out of action until late January due to a foot injury.
USA TODAY Sports
The Loyola-Chicago Ramblers lost their 2nd straight game and dropped to 10-3 (0-1 MVC) on the season after being defeated by the Missouri State Bears, 64-59, on December 22nd. Loyola-Chicago fought back to take a lead in midway through the 2nd half after trailing by a 33-26 margin at halftime however, struggled offensively down the stretch which allowed the Bears to secure the victory. Loyola-Chicago shot 44.2% from the field and 20.0% (3-15) from beyond the arc in the loss. Leading the way for the Ramblers was Cameron Krutwig who had 18 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 blocks, and 2 steals. On the season, Loyola-Chicago is averaging 74.8 ppg on 51.5% shooting from the field. The Ramblers are averaging 7.5 three-pointers per game on 41.1% shooting from beyond the arc. Offensively, Loyola-Chicago has been led by Aundre Jackson (12.9 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 1.5 apg), Clayton Custer (12.5 ppg, 2.2 rpg, 4.2 apg, 1.3 spg), Marques Townes (12.1 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 2.7 apg), and Donte Ingram (11.9 ppg, 7.1 rpg, 1.7 apg). Defensively, Loyola-Chicago is holding their opponents to an average of 65.8 ppg on 40.7% shooting from the field. The Ramblers have a rebound margin of 2.7 and a turnover margin of -1.0. Clayton Custer will not be available for the Ramblers as he is out until late January due to an ankle injury.
The Purple Aces are 6-15 ATS in their last 21 road games and 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games vs. MVC opponents. The Ramblers are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 home games vs. a team with a losing road record and 5-2-1 ATS in their last 8 games overall.
Evansville looked better after getting their leading scorer, Ryan Taylor, back from injury and has been led this season by their defense that ranks 49th in scoring defense and 121st in rebound margin. Loyola-Chicago comes into this game ranked 55th in scoring defense, 12th in FG%, and 70th in defensive FG%, however, have lost their last two games in which they didn’t have Clayton Custer available. Loyola-Chicago has been great at home however, have averaged just 57.5 ppg with Clayton Custer in the lineup and as I think the Purple Aces defense will give the Ramblers some trouble, I’m taking Evansville and the points.