Daily Underdog Picks: Oregon State will cover against Loyola Chicago
Call it the calm before the storm. After a few days off, allowing us all to catch our collective breath, March Madness resumes Saturday with the Sweet 16.
We have our eyes on a few intriguing underdogs for Saturday’s quartet of games.
Oregon State vs. Loyola Chicago
Sat, March 27 2021, 6:40 PM
It’s the No. 8 seed Loyola Chicago Ramblers against the No. 12 seed Oregon State Beavers in a Sweet 16 matchup few would have predicted at the outset of this tournament.
The Ramblers knocked off Georgia Tech in the first round, and then dominated Illinois, a No. 1 seed, in the second round.
After such a performance it’s no surprise the Ramblers are favored Saturday against Oregon State. The Beavers, however, are no slouch. They handled Tennessee and Oklahoma State – two teams that spent extended periods of time ranked in the AP Top 25.
This Oregon State sequence 😤— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) March 22, 2021
Beavers are ballin' pic.twitter.com/e0o5d5G1df
Oregon State senior Ethan Thompson had a huge game against Oklahoma State in the second round, scoring 26 points on 45% shooting from the field. The Beavers will need another big performance from Thompson on Saturday.
Another key will be shutting down Cameron Krutwig, who had 19 points and 12 rebounds for Loyola Chicago against Illinois.
The Beavers have been lights-out against the spread of late, going 15-3 ATS in their last 18 games as an underdog. Oregon State has proven it can beat ranked programs, and should keep this game close enough to cover.
Pick: Oregon State (+6.5)
Oral Roberts vs. Arkansas
Sat, March 27 2021, 11:25 PM
If you like high-scoring games, Oral Roberts vs. Arkansas might be the match-up for you.
The Golden Eagles put Ohio State out of commission in this tournament in the first round, scoring 75 points and pulling off the upset as 16-point underdogs.
ORU sophomore guard Max Abmas has been red-hot in this tournament, averaging more than 26 points per game. He picked up in the second round where he left off in the first, lighting up Florida for 26 points on 43% shooting from the field.
Max Abmas is college basketball's leading scorer. His range is LIMITLESS. (via @marchmadness) pic.twitter.com/3TAeuZXdcD— SLAM University (@slam_university) March 19, 2021
Keeping pace with Arkansas will be the challenge. The Razorbacks play an up-tempo style and have averaged 82 points per game, among the higher scoring teams in the country. If this game turns into a track meet, it should favor Arkansas.
The Razorbacks have the edge on paper, but Oral Roberts has knocked off two good teams already in this tournament and is poised to keep its Cinderella story alive.
Pick: Oral Roberts (+11)
Syracuse vs. Houston
Sun, March 28 2021, 1:55 AM
The Syracuse Orange have advanced to the Sweet 16 as a No. 11 seed in this tournament, scoring upset wins over San Diego State and West Virginia. Now they face the Houston Cougars on Saturday as a 6.5-point underdog.
A big reason for the Orange’s success in this tournament has been the play of junior guard Buddy Boeheim, who scored 30 points and shot a ridiculous 73% from the field in the first round against San Diego. His shooting percentages dipped against West Virginia, but he still scored 25 points after shooting 47%.
The Cougars have the edge, scoring 77 points per game compared to 75.9 points per game for Syracuse. The biggest difference is on defense, where Houston has allowed under 60 points per game. The Cougars could score the win, and will likely rely on defense to keep Syracuse in check, but if Boeheim remains hot, the Orange should keep this close enough to cover.
Pick: Syracuse (+6.5)