Loyola-Chicago Vs. Michigan Final Four Pick
Okay, college basketball betting buffs…it’s on like popcorn!
Alright, alright…besides the fact that no one really says that anymore and millennials everywhere would cringe if I actually said that out loud, you had best believe that it’s going down in a big way when the 11th-seeded Loyola-Chicago Ramblers take on the third-seeded Michigan Wolverines in their Final Four matchup on Saturday.
If you’re looking to find out which team is offering the best value in this matchup, let’s find out right now!
The #FinalFour is set!
— NCAA March Madness (@marchmadness) March 25, 2018
What: #11 Loyola (Chi) (32-5) Vs. #3 Michigan (32-7)
When: Saturday, March 31, 2018, at 6:09:00 P.M. ET
Where: Alamodome, San Antonio, TX
Stream: March Madness
Radio: 720 AN (Loyola-Chicago) / 950 AM (Michigan)
The Line: Michigan -5.0 -115
Loyola-Chicago took out Miami 64-62 in their NCAA Tournament opener before dispatching Tennessee 63-62 in the second round, Nevada, 69-68 in the Sweet 16 and then smacking Kansas State around, 78-62 in the Elite Eight. Despite their trio of close outcomes in their first three tournament contests, make no mistake about it, the Ramblers are for real!
Loyola-Chicago (32-5 SU, 23-9-1 ATS, 13-20 O/U) has won a whopping 14 straight games heading into the Final Four with their last defeat being a narrow 69-67 loss against Bradley on Jan. 31. The Ramblers are an incendiary 21-1 over their last 22 games.
Loyola-Chicago is as a well-balanced machine with five players that all averaged double digits in scoring this season and another that averaged 7.0 points per game. The Ramblers average a modest 72.0 points per game to rank 225th in the country, while also ranking a phenomenal fifth in points allowed by limiting the opposition to just 62.2 points per game defensively.
Michigan beat the hell out of Montana 61-47 in their March Madness opener before pulling off a miraculous win to beat Houston 64-63 in the second round. The Wolverines then blew Texas A&M off the court in their 99-72 win in the Sweet 16 before squeaking past Florida State 58-54 in the Elite Eight.
Now, as they get set for the Final Four, the Wolverines have won a dozen straight games. Michigan averages a modest 74.1 points per game and is one of the best shooting teams n the country as they drain a stellar 47.0 percent of their shot attempts (56th) and 36.6 percent from three-point distance (95th). The Wolverines have just three double-digit scorers in Moritz Wagner (14.3 ppg), Charles Matthews (13.0 ppg) and Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman (12.8 ppg), but three other players contribute between 6.2 and 9.5 points per game.
Michigan is outstanding defensively as they limit the opposition to just 63.1 points per game to rank eighth nationally in points allowed. The Wolverines also held the opposition to just 42.4 percent shooting from the field (82nd) and 33.0 percent from three-point distance (77th).
I don’t care about Loyola-Chicago being labeled as a Cinderella team. In my mind, they’re not anymore! Having said that, I see no reason to believe the Ramblers are going to go away and not hang with any team in the nation and that includes Michigan.
Both of these teams are outstanding defensively and I believe that is going to make for another low-scoring, close affair that Loyola-Chicago has thrived in this postseason.
The Ramblers are a perfect 4-0 ATS in their last 4 NCAA Tournament games, 6-0 ATS in their last 6 neutral site games, 19-6-1 ATS in their last 26 games vs. a team with a winning percentage above .600 and a seriously bankroll-boosting 34-16-1 ATS in their last 51 games overall.
While Michigan has gone 5-1-1 ATS in their last 7 games following a straight up win, 3-1-2 ATS in their last 6 NCAA Tournament games and a blistering 34-16-3 ATS in their last 53 games overall, I’m going with the Ramblers to cover the chalk – by winning outright to reach the national championship.
Pick: Loyola-Chicago +5.0