Wintrust Arena hosts an intriguing non-conference college basketball matchup on Wednesday evening as part of the 2023 Barstool Sports Invitational. The Loyola Chicago Ramblers host the No. 10 Florida Atlantic Owls, and it is the 2023-24 season opener for both programs. Loyola Chicago went just 10-21 last season after back-to-back seasons with at least 25 victories. FAU is coming off a 35-4 season and a stunning Final Four appearance under Dusty May, with sky-high expectations as a result.
For this game, SportsLine consensus lists the Owls as 6.5-point favorites for this 7 p.m. ET tip. The total number of points Vegas thinks will be scored, or the over/under, is 142.5 in the latest FAU vs. Loyola Chicago odds. Before making any Loyola Chicago vs. FAU picks, be sure to see the college basketball predictions and betting advice from the SportsLine Projection Model.
The model simulates every Division I college basketball game 10,000 times. It went 85-55 on all top-rated college basketball picks last season, returning more than $1,600 for $100 players. Anyone who followed it saw huge returns.
Now, the model has set its sights on FAU vs. Loyola Chicago and revealed its CBB picks and predictions. You can head to SportsLine to see the picks. Here are several college basketball odds and trends for Loyola Chicago vs. FAU:
- FAU vs. Loyola Chicago spread: FAU -5.5
- FAU vs. Loyola Chicago over/under: 142.5 points
- FAU vs. Loyola Chicago money line: FAU -296, Loyola +235
- FAU: The Owls were 25-11-1 against the spread last season
- Loyola Chicago: The Ramblers were 9-22 against the spread last season
- FAU vs. Loyola Chicago picks: See picks at SportsLine
Why FAU can cover
The Owls bring a top-flight offense as they return most of their core from last season, and FAU is also tremendous on defense. The Owls allowed fewer than 0.96 points per possession last season, strongly better than the national average, and FAU held opponents to only 44.7% shooting on 2-point attempts and 32.4% on 3-point attempts. FAU is also fantastic on the defensive glass, securing 74.6% of available rebounds, and the Owls were in the top 50 of the nation in free throw prevention last season.
FAU is also facing a Loyola offense that struggled in key areas in 2022-23. The Ramblers scored fewer than a point per possession, and Loyola Chicago gave the ball away on 22.1% of offensive possessions, ranking No. 350 in the country. Loyola Chicago also struggled to an ugly 24.5% offensive rebound rate that landed outside the top 300 nationally, and the Ramblers converted only 69.7% of free throw attempts. With an offense that scored 112.4 points per 100 possessions and shot 53.8% on 2-point attempts last season, FAU is a difficult matchup for any opponent. See who to back at SportsLine.
Why Loyola Chicago can cover
Loyola Chicago struggled in 2022-23, but the Ramblers have seven key players returning, headlined by 6’6 forward Philip Alston. He led the team with 14.6 points and 5.6 rebounds per game last season, and Alston shot 40.0% from beyond the 3-point arc. Alston is joined by Ben Schwieger, an A-10 All-Freshman selection, and the Ramblers were strong in overall shooting efficiency last season. Loyola Chicago was in the top 25 of the country in 2-point accuracy (54.8%), and the Ramblers averaged nearly 14 assists per game.
Loyola Chicago is also facing an FAU defense that isn’t elite in rim protection, with the Owls producing only a 6.8% block rate that ranked outside of the top 250 nationally a year ago. Loyola also has a few avenues to success on defense, especially when it comes to defensive rebounding. The Ramblers grabbed almost 72% of available defensive rebounds last season, and FAU was below the national average in free throw creation on offense. See who to back at SportsLine.
How to make Loyola Chicago vs. FAU picks
The model is leaning Over on the total, projecting 144 combined points. It also says one side of the spread hits well over 70% of the time. You can only see the model’s pick at SportsLine.
So who wins FAU vs. Loyola Chicago, and which side of the spread hits well over 70% of the time? Visit SportsLine now to find out which side of the spread you need to jump on, all from the model that went 85-55 on its top-ranked college basketball picks last season, and find out.