The Oregon State Beavers will continue their impressive run against the Loyola Chicago Ramblers in the Sweet Sixteen. This is an improbable matchup that makes sense when you dive into the details. Loyola is making its second Sweet Sixteen appearance in three years, having made the Final Four back in 2018. These are two of the hottest teams in the nation that will deliver a thriller on Saturday. It’s time to continue the NCAA odds series and make an Oregon State-Loyola Chicago prediction and pick.
Here is how the sportsbooks set the odds for this game.
NCAA Odds: Oregon State-Loyola Chicago Odds
Oregon State Beavers +6.5 (-115)
Loyola Chicago Ramblers -6.5 (-105)
Over 125.5 (-110)
Under 125.5 (-11o)
Why Oregon State Could Cover the Spread
The Oregon State Beavers have arguably been one of the best teams in the nation since suffering a 34-point loss to Arizona on January 12th. They have covered at a ridiculous clip, going 17-3-1 ATS since the loss. That is good for number one in the nation during that span. They have won their last four games straight up despite entering each as at least a six-point underdog. Their formula for success has been clear, control the paint and hit free throws at an insane rate.
In the upset win against Oklahoma State in the second round, the Beavers went 32-35 from the charity stripe. They were up 18 at the half and never looked back. Senior guard Ethan Thompson and sophomore guard Jarod Lucas went off in the win. Thompson went for 26 points and 15-16 from the free-throw line. Lucas went 7 of 7 from the line and hit some big free throws down the stretch. The Beavers have hit at least 40% of their threes in four of their last five and six different players have led the team in scoring in their last eight games. Oregon State out-rebounded the Cowboys by 20 and will have to control the boards to stick around with the Ramblers.
Why Loyola Chicago Could Cover the Spread
Many are surprised that Loyola-Chicago pulled off the upset against top-seeded Illinois, but shouldn’t be. Just three years ago, the Ramblers reached the Sweet Sixteen and eventually lost in the Final Four. Many have said that this team is more talented than that group. The Ramblers have won eight straight and never trailed in their second-round win against the Fighting Illini. Loyola-Chicago has seen success all year behind its defense, which has held opponents to an NCAA-best 55.8 points per game this season.
The offense for the Ramblers finds success by moving the ball. They average 15.9 assists per game, which is good for forty-second in the nation. Loyola will look to slow the tempo against Oregon State and lock them down in the half-court. They will need big games from their stars Cameron Krutwig and Lucas Williamson. Krutwig and Williamson had big games in their last win, going for nineteen and fourteen points respectively. Krutwig also added twelve boards, five assists, and four steals as well. Loyola Chicago is a contender to reach the Final Four again this year behind their stout defense.
Final Oregon State-Loyola Chicago Prediction & Pick
I see this game being very clean and efficient from both sides. Both teams are legitimate contenders and have all of the momentum coming in. Loyola-Chicago definitely has the edge on the defensive end, but the disparity between these two is slim. Oregon State will control the boards and hit its shots at a high clip. I’m not going to say that Oregon State will come away with the win, but the Beavers’ depth and strong play on both ends will be enough to keep this game tight throughout.
FINAL PICK: Oregon State +6.5 (-115)