Loyola Chicago vs Illinois March Madness Odds, Picks and Predictions March 21

Updated: March 19, 2021

Andrew Caley
Clock Icon Mar 19, 2021 – 11:02 PM ET

The Illinois Fighting Illini sure looked every bit of the No. 1 seed they earned in their stomping of the Drexler Dragons in the First Round of the NCAA Tournament. 

Next up is a date with Sister Jean and in-state rivals the Loyola-Chicago Ramblers, who are coming off a victory over the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets. Are we in store for another miracle Ramblers run? Or will the Illini cruise to another easy cover, this time as 7-point favorites. 

Check out our best Loyola-Chicago vs. Illinois March Madness picks and predictions for college basketball betting action Sunday, March 21.

Loyola Chicago vs Illinois odds

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Oddsmakers opened Illinois as 7-point chalk, with a total of 133.5. Check back later for a full report from Patrick!

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Loyola Chicago Ramblers vs Illinois Fighting Illini betting preview


Loyola Chicago: No injuries to report.
Illinois: No injuries to report.

Find our latest NCAA basketball injury reports.

Betting trend to know

The Over is 7-1 in Loyola-Chicago’s last seven neutral site games. Find more NCAA betting trends for Loyola Chicago vs. Illinois.

Against the spread (ATS) pick

Illinois didn’t show any opening game jitters in a 78-49 win over Drexel in the opening round, easily covering as 22.5-point favorites. The Illini not only look like the best team in the country but the hottest too. The win was the Illini’s eighth in a row and 15th in their last 16 overall, going 12-4 ATS in the process. 

Led by arguably the best guard-center duo in the country in Ayo Dosunmu and Kofi Cockburn, the Illini are formidable at both ends of the floor. They are just one of three teams in the country that rank in the Top-10 in both adjusted offensive and defensive efficiency per KenPom. 

If there is a team that can keep up with Illinois on the defensive end of the floor, it’s Loyola-Chicago. The Ramblers give up the fewest points per game in the country at just 55.7 per contest and rank third in adjusted defensive efficiency.

Loyola took out an undermanned Georgia Tech team 71-60 as 5.5-point favorites and has won seven games in a row, going 4-3 ATS. For those who don’t know much about the Ramblers this time around, you could kind of call them Virginia Lite. They play defense and run their offense at a super slow pace, with Cameron Krutwig being the Ramblers’ best player.

Sister Jean and Loyola are a great story, but they had a fortuitous matchup in the NCAA Tournament’s Round of 64 and are just running into the best team in the country. The Illini just have too many weapons for a Ramblers team that can be streaky on offense. 

PREDICTION: Illinois -7 (-110)

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Over/Under pick

At first glance, the total of 133.5 on the March Madness odds board seems reasonable, considering this is a matchup of two of the best defensive teams at the county. But that number stands out right away. First and foremost, because it is the lowest total Illinois has seen all season. 

While Loyola has an excellent defense, taking on Dosunmu, Cockburn and co. is another beast entirely. The Illini faced many good teams in the Big Ten and averaged 80.7 points per game for the season. On top of that, they have been in a groove during the postseason, averaging 85.6 points per game in the Big Ten and NCAA tourneys. And with a total of 145.5 or lower this season, the Over is 10-3-1. 

Meanwhile, Loyola has put up 71 points per game in tournament play and shot 50.4 percent from the field for the season, and has hit the Over in three of its last four games. Even with the stout defenses, this number is low enough to attack the Over.

PREDICTION: Over 133.5 (-110)

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Team total pick

The Fighting Illini’s team total of 69.5 really stands out in this matchup. Once again, not to take anything away from Sister Jean and the Ramblers’ defense, but their strength of schedule was what you would call, lacking. And this is a number Illinois hasn’t gone Under since Jan. 10 against Maryland. Heck, the Illini haven’t scored less than 75 points in 13 of their last 17 games overall. Take the Over.

PREDICTION: Illinois Team Total Over 69.5 (-110)

Loyola Chicago vs Illinois betting card

  • Illinois -7 (-110)
  • Over 133.5 (-110)
  • Illinois Team Total Over 69.5 (-110)

March Madness parlays

Did you know that if you parlayed today’s March Madness Loyola Chicago vs. Illinois picks, you could win $59.58 on a $10 bet?

Use our March Madness parlay calculator to create your own parlays and see their potential payouts.

Where can I bet on March Madness odds?

March Madness is one of the most popular times of the year for sports bettors, which of course makes it one of the busiest times of the year for online sportsbooks. Every betting site will offer March Madness odds but the top sites are safe and secure, offer a wide range of banking options, and give you a ton of markets for each game. Check out the best March Madness betting sites in your region.

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