Loyola-Chicago Ramblers (30-5 SU, 21-9 ATS) vs. Nevada Wolf Pack (29-7 SU, 18-14 ATS) Betting Pick
Time: March 22nd, 2018 7:05 PM ET
Where: Atlanta, GA
by Keith, Professional College Hoops Handicapper, Predictem
Point Spread: Nevada -1
Total Line: 143 (Over +115)
In this market the Wolf Pack opened as a 1.5-point favorite. Since the open, we have seen the line drop by half of a point since the open. In Over/Under markets, the number has ascended by three points to reflect the heavy action on the Over. Presently, the Over bears a +115 tag. On the Money Line, Loyola-Chicago comes in as a +105 underdog while the Wolf Pack of Nevada is positioned as a -125 favorite.
For both these teams, March Madness may have a bracket buster making its way to the big stage as. The eleven-seed Loyola-Chicago Ramblers will square off with the seven-seed Nevada Wolf Pack in the Sweet Sixteen. The affair will take place in Atlanta, Georgia with a scheduled tip-off at 7:05 PM ET. The game televised for national demographics on TBS. The two mid-major opponents come in as conference champions of their leagues. Nevada won the Mountain West, and Loyola-Chicago took hold of the Missouri Valley Conference. In recent history, the two teams have never crossed paths. In their play building up to this contest, the Ramblers dismissed two Power Conference foes from the tournament. By a combined margin of two points in dramatic fashion, Loyola-Chicago defeated both Miami Florida and Tennessee in route to this game. Nevada defeated Big 12 member Texas in the first round in an overtime epic. The Wolf Pack would follow this up with yet another stunning 75-73 victory over perennial March Madness qualifier and name-brand outfit Cincinnati.
There are several trends worth mentioning heading into this contest. Most notably, there is an element of importance to home court. Both Nevada and Loyola-Chicago are 14-1 SU at home this season. In particular, Loyola-Chicago is 21-8-1 ATS in their previous 30 contests. Regarding Over/Under markets, the Over is 16-5 ATS in the last 21 games where Nevada has played an out-of-conference opponent.
Sentiment and emotion will be the foundation of playing on Loyola-Chicago. They represent everything that a Cinderella team is supposed to be. The Ramblers have no fear of big name teams or high stakes games. They had proven that with their play in this tournament and moreover made a name for themselves when they defeated Florida on the road on the regular season. The Ramblers are not afraid to roll up their sleeves and get in any opponent’s face. Their defensive operation is the key to their victory in this game if they wish to move on the Regional Final.
For Nevada, the talk of the town is their potent offense. Many analysts have cited that the Wolf Pack own a unit that cannot be kept down for 40 minutes. From an analytical perspective, a mere point seems like an easy margin to come by for Nevada.
From a public money perspective, we have seen 61% of the cash come in on Loyola-Chicago. On the contrary, 57% of the ticket action is with Nevada.
A team like Loyola-Chicago is bound to generate plenty of fanfare for the general public. They have been a popular choice when they were up against both Miami and Tennessee and delivered both times. Chances are the third occasion will be hard to come by. Nevada in its own right is having a historic season. Previous to the run by Loyola-Chicago, the Wolf Pack were subject to many conversations about their accolades. Now with Cinderella tangling with the Wolves, this team will likely play with a chip on their shoulder as they will feel all but forgotten. The bottom line is this. Miami and Tennessee likely took the Ramblers lightly and bit the bullet as a result. Nevada will certainly not make the same mistake.
KEITHs PICK: Nevada -1