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Southern Illinois vs. Loyola-Chicago - 2/21/18 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Loyola-Chicago Ramblers (23-5) at Southern Illinois Salukis (19-10)

College Basketball: Wednesday, February 21, 2018 at 8:00 pm (SIU Arena)

The Line: Southern Illinois Salukis +3 -- Over/Under: 137 See the Latest Odds

TV: ESPN 3

The Loyola-Chicago Ramblers will travel to SIU Arena to take on the Southern Illinois Salukis this Wednesday night in College Basketball action.

The Loyola-Chicago Ramblers won their 5th straight game and improved to 23-5 (13-3 MVC) on the season after defeating the Evansville Purple Aces, 76-66, this past Sunday. Loyola-Chicago was outstanding on the offensive end in the 2nd half against the tough Evansville defense and pulled away after taking a  60-53 lead with 5:34 left in regulation. Loyola-Chicago shot 58.1% from the field and 47.4% (9-19) from beyond the arc in the victory. Leading the way for the Ramblers was Clayton Custer who had 17 points, 7 rebounds, 6 assists, and a steal. On the season, Loyola-Chicago is averaging 73.8 ppg on 51.6% shooting from the field. The Ramblers are averaging 7.4 three-pointers per game on 41.5% shooting from beyond the arc. Offensively, Loyola-Chicago has been led by Clayton Custer (14.7 ppg, 2.3 rpg, 4.1 apg, 1.6 spg), Marques Townes (11.6 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 2.4 apg), Donte Ingram (11.6 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 1.6 apg, 1.0 spg), and Cameron Krutwig (10.5 ppg, 6.5 rpg, 1.8 apg). Defensively, Loyola-Chicago is holding their opponents to an average of 63.7 ppg on 41.6% shooting from the field. The Ramblers have a rebound margin of 1.9 and a turnover margin of 0.4.

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Southern Illinois vs. Loyola-Chicago - 2/21/18 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction

USA TODAY Sports

The Southern Illinois Salukis won their 3rd consecutive game and improved to 19-10 (11-5 MVC) on the season after defeating the Indiana State Sycamores, 76-72 in OT, this past Saturday. Southern Illinois allowed Indiana State to fight back from a 10-point halftime deficit to force overtime, however, the Salukis were able to go on and secure the road victory after taking a 74-69 lead with 2:11 left in the overtime period. Southern Illinois held Indiana State to just 38.6% shooting from the field and 26.1% (6-23) from beyond the arc in the win. Leading the way for the Salukis was Aaron Cook who had 18 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists, and 4 steals. On the season, Southern Illinois is averaging 71.5 ppg on 46.9% shooting from the field. The Salukis are averaging 6.5 three-pointers per game on 35.7% shooting from beyond the arc. Offensively, Southern Illinois has been led by Armon Fletcher (14.4 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 1.9 apg, 1.2 spg), Kavion Pippen (12.5 ppg, 5.9 rpg, 1.0 apg, 1.3 bpg), Sean Lloyd Jr. (12.4 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 2.2 apg, 1.6 spg), and Aaron Cook (10.3 ppg, 2.4 rpg, 2.6 apg, 1.5 spg). Defensively, Southern Illinois is holding their opponents to an average of 68.7 ppg on 43.1% shooting from the field. The Salukis have a rebound margin of -0.9 and a turnover margin of 1.0.

The Ramblers are 11-2 ATS in their last 13 games overall and 38-18-1 ATS in their last 57 road games. The Salukis are 3-1-2 ATS in their last 6 home games and 6-2-1 ATS in their last 9 games overall.

Loyola-Chicago has won 12 of their last 13 games and is the team to beat in the MVC this season as the Ramblers currently rank 2nd in FG%, 10th in 3P-FG%, and 14th in scoring defense. Southern Illinois has won 8 of their last 9 games and come into this matchup led by their defense that ranks 80th in scoring defense, 125th in defensive FG%, and 36th in steals per game. Southern Illinois is an impressive 13-2 at home this season and as Loyola-Chicago hasn’t  great on the road as of late, which included a loss at Bradley and a close victory at Indiana State, I think the Salukis defense will  be able to do enough in this one to at worst, cover with the points. Take Southern Illinois and the points. 

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