Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets vs. Loyola-Chicago Ramblers NCAA Tournament Betting Odds

Written by:
Mary Montgomery
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The Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets had the benefit of a pass through the semifinals of the ACC Tournament when Virginia backed out over COVID issues. That obviously helped in their waltz through the conference tournament but make no mistake the Jackets are on a heater entering their first NCAA Tournament since 2010. Winners of eight straight, including an upset of Florida State in the ACC title game, the Jackets face a stiff test against the Loyola-Chicago Ramblers, the top defensive team in the country, in an opening round matchup on Friday.  Bookmaker is offering a generous CASH welcome bonus (max bonus $1600)Illinois residents WELCOME.

Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets vs. Loyola-Chicago Ramblers
Date and Time: Friday, March 19, 2021, 4 p.m. ET
Location: Hinkle Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, IN
Opening College Basketball Odds: Loyola-Chicago -3.5, O/U 126 (Now Loyola -5.5)
Georgia Tech vs. Loyola-Chicago TV Coverage: TBS

Odds Analysis

Despite Tech’s 8-game winning streak and ACC title, it’s the Ramblers getting plenty of love at the betting window. The line opened at Loyola-Chicago -2.5 and has been wagered to -4 at some books. You have to take the Ramblers seriously with the kind of season they had and how they did it. Some say getting a No. 8 seed was borderline criminal. While the committee tried to prop up mid-majors, it just can’t. The Ramblers cruised through the MVC tournament winning all three games by double figures while going 3-0 ATS. Back in mid-February the Jackets were 9-8 with no plans of dancing. Well, plans change. They finished the regular season with five consecutive wins and covers and were still on the bubble entering the ACC Tournament. With UVA backing out of their semifinal matchup, the Jackets got a free pass to the title game and disposed of FSU 80-75 as a 4.5-point dog to earn the automatic bid. Tech enters as a No. 9 seed with a 17-8 SU and 15-10 ATS record overall.

Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets

Their run to the ACC Tournament title may have been tarnished a bit with both Duke and UVA exiting early due to COVID. It doesn’t take away what the Jackets did to earn their first trip to the Dance in a decade, though. Just last month they were languishing in the middle of the ACC pack with a 9-8 SU and 8-9 ATS record that included non-conference setbacks to Georgia State and Mercer. Maybe they just needed time to come together. When they did, the Jackets took off. Starting with a win over Pitt on Valentine’s Day, they closed the regular season with six wins in a row going 6-0 ATS.

It’s all about the starting five for GT so any personnel issues during the tournament will be a concern. They recently had one member of the traveling party test positive for COVID so a close eye will be kept on everyone. ACC Player of the Year Moses Wright, who averages 17.4 points and 8.0 rebounds, leads four players in double figures. The starters combined for 70 points in the win over FSU with Michael Devoe going for 20. Point guard Jose Alvarado runs the show averaging 4.1 assists and 15.3 points.

Update: Wright will miss the Yellow Jackets' first-round game against Loyola Chicago in the NCAA men's basketball tournament, sources told ESPN on Wednesday night.

Wright also likely will be out if Tech beats Loyola Chicago and advances to face the winner of Illinois-Drexel, sources said.

Loyola-Chicago Ramblers

When talking about defense no team was better than the Ramblers during the regular season. They allowed just 55.5 points per game, nearly 2.5 points fewer per game than the next closest team. They were even better during the MVC Tournament holding Southern Illinois, Indiana State and Drake to an average of 54.3 points while winning every game by an average margin of 16.7 points. Some folks took issue with Loyola’s seeding after compiling a No. 10 NET ranking, which was better than a number of teams that received a better seeding. “We can just control what we can control,” coach Porter Moser said.

The MVC held its tournament a full week ahead of most other leagues meaning the Ramblers haven’t played a game since taking down Drake on Mar. 7. Under normal circumstances that might be a concern, but considering teams prepared for delays during the course of the season due to COVID it probably won’t be too much of an issue. Cameron Krutwig will have a hand in any success the Ramblers enjoy in the Tournament. He averages 15.0 points and is the only player scoring more than 8.2 points per game. Don’t mistake that for a lack of offense, though. Six players average between 7.0 and 8.2 points and the Ramblers score 71.5 points per game.

Bet Georgia Tech vs. Loyola-Chicago at BookMaker.eu

Do the Ramblers have another tournament run in them like a few years ago when they reached the Final Four as an 11-seed? This team has more depth and is better defensively than the 2018 group, and Sister Jean is around to provide spiritual guidance. You can’t ignore what Tech did to get here, but a thin roster will get exposed and points will be too hard to come by.

NCAA Tournament Prediction: Loyola-Chicago 71, Georgia Tech 64 (prediction made prior to Wright news)

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- Phil Simon, Gambling911.com

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