Free College Basketball Picks: Wichita State Shockers at Loyola Ramblers Odds
by George Monroy - 2/18/2014
The Wichita State Shockers have become the Rodney Dangerfield of the college basketball world—they “get no respect”. The squad is coming off a Final Four run last season, is still undefeated with a perfect 27-0 record, and yet cannot crack the upper echelon of the AP Top 25 poll. Wichita State is ranked No. 4 in the nation but remains as underrated as a Top-5 squad can be in this social media age of instant analysis. The Shockers are even a bit underrated by the oddsmakers as they are receiving +1000 odds to win this year’s national title, while teams like Florida and Syracuse are getting +500 to +600.
The Loyola (IL) Ramblers are sitting near the bottom of the Missouri Valley Conference with a 9-17 overall and 4-10 conference record. The squad has lost seven of its last nine matchups but has performed much better ATS-wise over that span. Loyola managed to produce a 5-3-1 ATS record in its last nine games, and while an actual win against Wichita State on Wednesday night might be asking for a small miracle, covering the spread will definitely be within reach. Let’s take a closer look at the matchup with free college basketball picks and analysis.
Wichita State at Loyola Betting Story Lines
Wichita State is gunning for a perfect mark heading into the NCAA Tournament and ultimately has the larger goal of being the first team to go undefeated on the way to a National Championship since the Indiana Hoosiers did so nearly 40 years ago. The Shockers have four more games left on their schedule, including Wednesday’s matchup against Loyola, and at this point may be a favorite to head into its conference tournament with an unblemished record.
The team is being led by the excellent production from starting forward Cleanthony Early. The senior is averaging 16.2 points and 6.3 rebounds for the Shockers, who continue to be one of the best rebounding and field goal shooting teams in the nation. Wichita State is coming off a 16-point victory over Evansville on Sunday where the team shot .491 from the field on 28-of-57 shooting and was led by the 26 points from guard Ron Baker. The Shockers managed to comfortably cover the 12-point spread and are 17-6-1 ATS this season.
Loyola’s only win this month came against Illinois State on Feb. 9, and the team has dropped four-of-five games since the end of January. The Ramblers failed to cover three of their last four spreads but were on a solid ATS run prior to those matchups and covered five of their previous six games. The team is being led by the 15.8 points and 4.6 rebounds of freshman guard Milton Doyle. Loyola has two other double-digit scorers, but does not get much production from its other players and, as a result, scores only 66.5 points per game, which is ranked 289th in the nation.
The Ramblers are coming off an eight-point loss to Drake on Saturday where they trailed by 16 points late in the game, but they were able to make a last-minute rally to get within single-digits before the game ended. The squad was a 5.5-point underdog heading into the matchup. Wednesday night’s home game against Wichita State may be the team’s biggest game of the season and will probably take on a postseason type of atmosphere as Loyola tries to end the Shockers unbeaten streak.
Wichita State at Loyola NCAA Betting Odds and Key Trends
Wichita State opened as a 14-point favorite over the Ramblers at BetOnline. Wichita State is 22-6-1 ATS in its last 29 overall games and 18-7-3 ATS in its last 28 games following an ATS win. The squad has covered three of its last four games and seven of its last 10. Wichita State is 4-3 over its last seven matchups as a double-digit favorite.
Loyola is 6-0 ATS against teams with a winning record better than .600 and 5-0 ATS against teams with a winning SU record. The squad is 4-1 ATS over its last five home games and 5-2 ATS following a SU loss. Loyola, however, is only 3-7 ATS in its last 10 overall games.
Free College Basketball Picks: Wichita State Shockers at Loyola Ramblers Predictions
Wichita State managed to win by 12 points the last time these two teams played in January. The Shockers were a 20.5-point favorite at home and never really threatened to cover the spread at any point. Wednesday’s matchup, however, will have much more pressure riding on the outcome as Wichita State is clearly invested in finishing the season undefeated. Loyola knows this and would love nothing more than to play the spoiler against one of its conference rivals. Ramblers’ fans in attendance will probably treat this game like its own national title, and while predicting a Loyola win is farfetched, the squad has enough talent and desire to cover a large 14-point spread. Take Loyola and the points.
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