MAC vs. WCC here as the Ohio Bobcats take on the Loyola Marymount Tigers as part of the Jamaica Classic. The game will tip-off at 6:30 ET, and be nationally televised on the CBS Sports Network. Ohio enters the game at 2-1, while Loyola Marymount is a perfect 4-0. LMU has been impressive thus far, but the Bobcats could pose trouble.
Ohio Coming Off Huge Loss
Everything started off as planned for Ohio, with wins in their first two games. They beat a non-Division I school and then the lowly Campbell, so it wasn’t too impressive. They trailed against Campbell at halftime, and had to come storming back in the second half to squeak out a narrow victory. Then came their third game, where they were embarrassed by South Florida. USF is ranked the 246th team in the country by Kenpom, so it was a brutal loss.
USF spanked them by 27 points, and the game was never close. Ohio scored just 15 points in the first half, and never had a chance. Ohio’s struggles make sense when you dig into their team a bit. They’re missing two of their top three scorers from last year, and James Gollon, who played over 20 minutes per game last year as a sophomore, has been sidelined with an injury. By far their best players are in the post, but they could struggle here against a LMU team that has plenty of size in their frontcourt.
LMU has been one of the biggest surprises in college basketball, racing out to a 4-0 start. They’ve beaten two pretty impressive programs in UNLV and Georgetown, so it’s not like they’ve just been beating up on creampuffs. Making things even more impressive, they beat both by double digits, and neither game was at home. LMU didn’t even shoot the ball that well against Georgetown, especially in the first half, but were able to put their slow start behind them and get the win by consistently getting to the foul line.
— TheW.tv (@TheWtv) October 18, 2018
The Lions return their two most important pieces from last year, leading scorer James Batemon, and 7’3 center Mattias Markusson. The only thing Ohio has going for them is decent play from their bigs, and Markusson should be able to shut them down. Batemon is playing nearly 40 minutes a game, and is playing at an insanely high level. Batemon is averaging 25 points and five assists per game, and Ohio doesn’t have anybody who can shut him down.
- 8-0 ATS in their last 8 games overall
- 4-0-2 ATS in their last 6 neutral site games
- 22-8-1 ATS in their last 31 non-conference games
- 1-5-1 ATS in their last 7 neutral site games
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
I love the Lions here. The national media is starting to catch up to just how dangerous they can be, and I think they should roll over the Bobcats here. The Bobcats just got destroyed by a USF team that is pretty bad themselves, and I don’t see how they stand a chance here.
Full-Game Total Pick
I like the under a lot here. Neither team has been able to score the ball with any consistency, and I think this could be a defensive struggle with not a lot of good shooting. Both teams have shot poor percentages, especially against better competition, and I expect that to continue here.