College Basketball

Loyola vs Bradley: Odds, Line, and Picks (3/4/22)

It isn’t the biggest night for college basketball, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t some fun games to watch. Notably, you can watch as Loyola Chicago takes on Bradley. It’s the start of the Missouri Valley Championship, and this should be the most fun matchup of the first round.  

The way the standings shook out at the end of the season led to an unfortunate distinction for Loyola. They tied for second in the conference with a 13-5 in-conference record. They were tied with Missouri State and Drake, but unfortunately for them, they lost the tiebreaker for both teams, and as a result, they were seeded 4th. That led them to have a tougher matchup than they deserved in the 5th seeded Bradley team.  

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Conversely, Bradley has been locked in as the 5th seed in the conference for a little while now. They have an 11-7 in-conference record, which puts them two wins ahead of 6th in the conference, but two wins behind Loyola. As a result, they were destined to face whichever team lost all the tiebreakers at the top of the conference.  

Neither team is coming into the tournament on a hot streak. Both are 2-2 in their last four games, Bradley is coming off a win, whereas Loyola is coming in off a loss. That being said, Bradley defeated the 7th seed in Valparaiso, whereas Loyola lost to the number one seed in Northern Iowa. Regardless of what happens, we should have a good game on our hands. 

Loyola vs Bradley Odds 

Coming into the game, you would expect a close matchup. After all, they are the 4th and 5th seed. While the odds do not foreshadow a blowout, they certainly favor Loyola. Here are the odds and betting lines, courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook. 

  • Spread: Loyola -6.5 Bradley +6.5
  • Total: Loyola U 131.5 Bradley O 131.5
  • Money Line: Loyola -255 Bradley +205

The odds certainly favor Loyola, and as a result, you have an opportunity to make some money if Bradley pulls off an upset. It’s not out of the question as they had two games earlier in the season. One saw Loyola pull off a narrow 78-71 victory in overtime, but the more recent game saw Bradley win by a score of 68-61. 

As for the total and spread, it’s tough to pin down what will. If you’re expecting a close matchup, it’s better to bet on Bradley’s side of the spread. If they lose by six points or less or even win, you will win your bet. Conversely, if you have a lot of faith in Loyola, you can put some money on Bradley. The total is set at 131.5, which could be close to the point total as these are two defensively focused teams. You get -110 odds on both sides of the spread and total. 

Loyola Betting Outlook 

When you are going to make your bet, you need to remember that you shouldn’t always bet on the team that you think is going to win. That might sound counterintuitive, but if it’s going to be a close matchup, it’s more profitable to bet on the underdog. 

That might be the case here as Loyola is getting -255 odds as the favorite. Those aren’t the worst odds in the world, and you can still win some money, but it won’t be very profitable. 

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As we mentioned above, Loyola isn’t coming into the game hot. They are fresh off a loss to Northern Iowa, which isn’t a huge deal, but they’ve struggled over the past few weeks as a whole. Additionally, while they pulled off a narrow victory over Bradley in early January, their more recent matchup saw Bradley pull off the win. 

The advanced stats are better for Loyola. They have a narrow edge in adjusted defensive efficiency, but that’s fairly close. However, where they really have the edge is on offense. Their offensive efficiency rating places them 4th in the nation. Conversely, Bradley is ranked 138th. If Loyola is going to win, they’re going to need to make something happen on offense. 

Bradley Betting Outlook 

Betting on Bradley is looking like the best option. They went 1-1 against Loyola in the season, and their win was more recent and more convincing. It’s true that they aren’t as strong when you look at the advanced statistics, but as long as they can make a few shots, there’s no reason they can’t compete with Loyola. 

Regardless of what you think of these two teams, you should expect a close matchup. As a result, a bet on Bradley is looking like the better option. With +205 odds, betting on Bradley provides too much value to pass up. 

Loyola vs Bradley Prediction 

Championship season in college basketball can be very random. A team’s form coming into their conference tournament is so important, and as a result, their early-season performance is less important. With that in mind, we think Bradley could pull off the upset tonight. It should be a low-scoring affair between two defensively sound teams. So, we are going to predict that Bradley defeats Loyola by a score of 69-64. That also means that we think you should bet the over, and on Bradley’s side of the spread. 

Where to Watch 

The game takes place this afternoon at 3:30 PM EST. If you’re interested in watching, you can catch the game on ESPN+.

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