Loyola Chicago takes on Oregon State in the Sweet 16 on Saturday afternoon, the Ramblers’ second Sweet 16 appearance in four years.
Loyola Chicago is a 6.5-point favorite at DraftKings Sportsbook, and the line has toggled between 6.5 and seven throughout the week. Of course, Illinoisans still can’t bet on the Ramblers, just as they couldn’t for Loyola’s dominant upset win over Illinois.
The Ramblers have won straight up and covered the spread in their first two NCAA Tournament games. Can they do it again against Oregon State?
Here’s what bettors need to know about Saturday’s game.
Loyola Chicago vs. Oregon State preview
As previously mentioned, Loyola Chicago is a 6.5-point favorite at DraftKings. The over/under is 125.5, by far the lowest of any of the Sweet 16 games.
The next closest? Oregon vs. USC, where the total is 139.
That speaks to just how dominant the Ramblers’ defense has been.
Loyola Chicago has the best defense in college basketball by KenPom’s adjusted defensive efficiency rankings. It held Illinois, ranked ninth in the country in offense, to just 58 points.
The Ramblers also forced 17 turnovers against the Fighting Illini.
Loyola Chicago is outstanding at executing on both sides of the floor, and Oregon State is not as good as Illinois. But the Beavers are playing some of their best ball as of late.
Oregon State was 11-11 at one point this season; it’s 19-12 now and in the middle of a five-game winning streak. The Beavers beat Tennessee and Oklahoma State by a combined 24 points in the first two rounds.
They closed as six-point underdogs against Oklahoma State, and 8.5-point underdogs against Tennessee.
The center matchup is going to be very interesting in this one. Loyola, of course, has Cameron Krutwig, your resident college basketball star who resembles a retired cop.
Krutwig has had an incredible senior season and is averaging 15.0 points, 6.9 rebounds, and 3.0 assists per game.
He’ll go up against Oregon State bruiser Roman Silva, who has become more of a focal point during the Beavers’ hot stretch. Silva doesn’t put up big numbers, but at 265 pounds, he is the rare center who can match Krutwig’s size.
We should also mention how dominant the Pac-12 has been in the NCAA Tournament. It is 9-1 thus far and has four teams in the Sweet 16.
While it’s easy to overreact to small sample sizes, it’s hard to ignore a conference going 9-1 in the tournament. Loyola Chicago appears to be the better team, but the same could have been said about Tennessee and Oklahoma State before losing to Oregon State.
Loyola Chicago win over Illinois was big for sportsbooks
- DraftKings: 89% of money, 81% of bets on Illinois
- FanDuel: 82% of money, 81% of bets on Illinois
- PointsBet: 68% of money, 79% of bets on Illinois
Illinois vs. Loyola Chicago was the second-most popular game on the board at DraftKings on Sunday without any action from Illinoisans.
We don’t have spread splits yet, but we’d expect the public to show Loyola Chicago a lot more love against Oregon State than it did against Illinois.
Where can Illinoisans bet on Loyola Chicago?
If you’re in Illinois and would like to legally wager on the game, unfortunately, there aren’t many great options.
But keep in mind that you can bet on the Ramblers if you’re in nearby Indiana, where the game will take place, or Iowa.
Loyola Chicago vs. Oregon State will kick off the Sweet 16 at 1:40 p.m. CST at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. The game will air on CBS.
Indiana and Iowa have just about all of the same sportsbook apps as Illinois, except for Barstool.