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Florida Atlantic vs Loyola Chicago Odds, Spread, Picks & Predictions

Sascha Paruk

by Sascha Paruk in College Basketball

Updated Nov 8, 2023 · 5:57 AM PST

Florida Atlantic Owls guard Johnell Davis driving to the hoop
Mar 25, 2023; New York, NY, USA; Florida Atlantic Owls guard Johnell Davis (1) drives to the basket against Kansas State Wildcats forward Nae'Qwan Tomlin (35) during the second half at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
  • Coming off a Final Four run, FAU opens its season with a de facto road game against Loyola Chicago in the Windy City
  • The Ramblers are coming off their worst season in a decade, going 10-21 under second-year coach Drew Valentine
  • See the Florida Atlanta vs Loyola Chicago odds, predictions, and expert picks for Wednesday, Nov. 8

Coming off a Cinderella run to the Final Four as a #9 seed last season, the Florida Atlantic Owls (35-4, 25-11-1 ATS last year) begin their new campaign against a school that put together a similar run in 2018, the Loyola Chicago Ramblers (10-21, 9-22 ATS). While this game is technically on a neutral court at DePaul’s Wintrust Arena, the Chicago crowd should be heavily biased to the home-town Ramblers.

Tip-off from Wintrust Arena is scheduled for 7:00 pm ET (6:00 pm local time) and oddsmakers are betting on the Owls picking up where they left off.

FAU vs Loyola Chicago Odds

Team Point Spread Moneyline Total
FAU Owls -6 (-110) -240 O 142 (-110)
Loyola Chicago Ramblers +6 (-110) +200 U 142  (-110)

FAU is a six-point favorite and -240 on the moneyline in Wednesday’s college basketball odds. The Ramblers come back as +200 underdogs to win straight-up, while the game total is at 142 with -110 odds both ways.

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FAU begins the year as a +4133 bet, on average, in the odds to win March Madness, which puts them just inside the top-30 favorites. Their odds to make the Final Four again are an encouraging +1000. While Loyola projects to be better this year than last, they are not seen as a credible Final Four threat, listed at ___ to reach the national semifinals and +66667 on average to win the national championship.

FAU Returns Top-Four Scorers from Final Four Team

The sense of optimism are the Owls is warranted. There was a good argument that the Owls, who went 31-3 during the regular season and C-USA Tournament, were underseeded as a #9 seed in the March Madness bracket, and FAU’s impressive run to the Final Four certainly bore that out. Conference USA rated as the 10th-best conference in the nation last year, just behind the WCC and ahead of the WAC, Ivy, and A-10.

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Now FAU returns all of its top-four scorers from last year’s team, including backcourt duo Johnell Davis (13.8 PPG, 5.4 RPG, 1.6 APG) and Alijah Martin (13.4 PPG, 5.3 RPG, 1.4 APG), who both averaged over 15 PPG during FAU’s five March Madness games. The presence of 7’1 center Vladislav Goldin (10.2 PPG, 6.5 RPG, 1.2 BPG) gives the Owls  a legitimate rim protector and inside scoring threat.

The ratings are somewhat split on FAU’s forecast. KenPom ranks the Owls 36th in efficiency to start the season, while Haslametics has them even further down in 42nd. But Torvik is more optimistic, listing FAU at 22nd.

Loyola Chicago Should Be Much Improved

Despite finishing deadlast in the A-10 during their first season in the conference, and a dismal 253rd in the KenPom ratings thanks to a 10-21 record, there is a decent amount of hype around the team heading into Drew Valentine’s third year on the bench.

The Ramblers return their three leading scorers from last season – Philip Alston (14.6 PPG), Braden Norris (10.9 PPG), and Ben Schweiger (9.2 PPG) – while adding potential impact transfers, including Dartmouth’s Dame Adelekun (13.8 PPG, 7.2 PPG), Texas Arlington’s Patrick Mwamba (7,9 PPG, 5.4 RPG), and Davidson’s Desmond Watson (9.4 PPG, 3.8 RPG). Adelekun and Mwamba should help a Loyola team that was absolutely abysmal on the glass last season, ranking 302nd in offensive rebounding percentage and 181st on defense.

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FAU vs Loyola Chicago Prediction

Loyola started last season rated 59th at KenPom before sinking all the way to 253rd. While it’s nice that there is a decent amount of continuity on the roster, plus a few new faces that will certainly increase Valentine’s depth, there is little reason to think the Ramblers can hang with the top team in the C-USA, a conference that graded out better than the A-10 last season. (Loyola went just 4-14 in conference play in 2022-23.)

I expect the more-experienced and more-cohesive Owls to take control of this game early as the Ramblers struggle to find their footing while integrating a host of transfers into the lineup.

Florida Atlantic vs Loyola Chicago Pick: FAU first half -4.5 (+110)

Sascha Paruk’s 2023-24 college basketball betting record: 1-0 (+1.1 units)

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