NCAA Basketball Pick on Loyola, UL Monroe ‘over’ the Total

LT Profits Sports Group

Wednesday, April 1, 2015 3:20 PM UTC

Wednesday, Apr. 1, 2015 3:20 PM UTC

Each day the LT Profits Sports Group seeks out a total that simply does not add up and therefore offers the most value that day. Here is their Total Value Play of the Day for Wednesday.


An ‘under’ in Game 1 of the CBI Championship Series may have led to a deflated total Wednesday night for Game 2 when the Loyola-Chicago Ramblers (23-13, 7-6 away) this time pay a visit to the UL Monroe Warhawks (24-13, 14-3 home) at Fant-Ewing Coliseum in Monroe, LA at 8:00 ET in a game televised nationally on CBS Sports Network.

The posted total at Pinnacle Sports is 125 for this contest with the current odds on the ‘over’ set at -108.

Unique Best-of-Three Series
The CBI Championship is unique in that it is a best two-of-three series, unlike the more common single elimination rounds prior to this point. Loyola hails from the tough Missouri Valley Conference where it finished just 8-10 in league play, but the Rambles then blew out Indiana State 81-53 in the Missouri Valley Tournament before losing to the eventual champions from Northern Iowa.

UL Monroe finished in a second place tie in the lesser Sun Belt Conference at 14-6, but it was then the losing NCAA Basketball pick to Georgia Southern in the semifinals of that conference tournament, a tournament that was eventually won by the NCAA Tournament darlings from Georgia State. And apparently the Warhawks’ 21-12 record at the end of that tournament was not enough for an NIT invite, so they settled for this CBI berth.

Loyola Drew First Blood
Doing battle with the likes of Northern Iowa and Wichita State inside the Missouri Valley has apparently served the Ramblers well, as they advanced to this championship by blowing through Rider, Oral Roberts and Seattle in the first three rounds. Then Loyola drew first blood in this championship with a 65-58 win in Game 1 back home in Chicago, a contest that landed safely ‘under’ the total of 130.

However, this posted total is now set at about five points less than Game 1, which seems like a rather severe over-adjustment in our eyes. Sure the Ramblers are leaving home for the first time during this CBI Tournament, and they are being outscored on the road this season by an average score of 62.2-64.8. Take note though that is an average combined total of 127.0 points per game, which while not very high is good enough to go ‘over’ this total.

Monroe Looks to Keep Season Alive at Home
Losing Game 1 now puts the Warhawks in desperation mode as they look to keep their season alive, and remember that Monroe is actually the higher seed in this tournament, meaning that if it wins tonight, then Game 3 would be right back here in Louisiana on Friday, which could prove critical with the Warhawks being 14-3 at home this season while winning by an average score of 64.6-59.7.

Granted that combined average at home of 124.3 total points is basically right at this average, but the sense of desperation could lead to much late game fouling, a situation that often blows up ‘unders’ at this relatively low number. Also keep in mind that the Warhawks had gone ‘over’ in the first three rounds of this tournament while scoring exactly 71 points on each occasion before Game 1 of this Championship Series, with all three games producing at least 136 total points.

30-Second Shot Clock
And part of the reason for that increased scoring relative to the regular season numbers is because like the NIT and CIT, this CBI is experimenting with a 30-second shot clock. Thus, this Monroe team that ranks 320th in the country in adjusted tempo rating at 61.4 possessions per game saw a spike up to 65.7 possessions in those first three rounds.

Look for something similar tonight with Monroe and Loyola going ‘over’ a seemingly deflated total in Game 2 of the CBI Championship Series on Wednesday.
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NCAA Basketball Pick: Loyola-Chicago, UL Monroe ‘over’ 125 (-108)


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