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The BYU Cougars will be looking for their 18th win of the season when the team travels to the Gersten Pavilion to take on the Loyola Marymount Lions. BYU enters this game with a 17-10 record after beating San Diego in its last game. Meanwhile, Loyola Marymount is 17-9 this season as it lost to Gonzaga in its last game. Now, both teams will be looking to improve their respective conference records this Saturday.
BYU Looks For Fifth Straight Win
Last season, the BYU Cougars went 24-11 and lost in the first round of the NIT to Stanford. BYU entered this season with hopes of reaching the NCAA tournament for the time since 2015. So far this season, the team has slightly underachieved as it has only won 17 of its first 27 games. However, BYU is in the middle of a four-game winning streak including an overtime win against San Diego in its last game. In that game, BYU’s offense was great as it scored 88 points on 52.4% shooting from the three-point line. If BYU looks to win this game, its offense will need to play well once again.
The BYU Cougars are led by junior forward Yoeli Childs who has been fantastic for the last two seasons. Last season, he averaged over 17 points per game along with 8.6 rebounds. This season, he has managed to improve as he is currently leading the team in scoring with 21.2 points per game along with 9.8 rebounds. Childs is a force in the paint and he will need to dominate the post once again if the Cougars want to win this game.
Loyola Marymount Looks For Another Home Win
Last season, the Loyola Marymount Lions went 11-20 and lost in the quarterfinals of its conference tournament to Gonzaga. This season, Loyola Marymount has looked like a brand new team as the team has won 17 of its first 26 games including an impressive win over Georgetown earlier this season. In addition, the team has been extremely solid at home this season and has won ten of its 13 home games this season. However, the team is coming into this game off of a road loss to Gonzaga in its last game. In that game, Loyola Marymount’s offense struggled as it only scored 60 points on less than 8% shooting from the three-point line. However, with a home game up next, expect Loyola Marymount’s offense to play better.
The Loyola Marymount Lions are led by senior guard James Batemon who has been unbelievable this season. Last season, he averaged 17.8 points per game along with 4.6 assists. However, he has been just as good this season as he is currently leading the team in scoring with 16.7 points per game along with 3.7 assists. Batemon is the team’s biggest offensive weapon by a wide margin and he will need to play well if the team plans on covering this spread.
- Lions are 3-0-1 ATS in their last 4 games following a double-digit loss at home.
- Lions are 9-2 ATS in their last 11 games following a straight up loss.
- Cougars are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games following a ATS win.
- Cougars are 3-13 ATS in their last 16 Saturday games.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
Although I think that BYU is the better team, I do not trust this BYU team on the road. BYU has only won four of its 11 games on the road this season and I think that the Cougars will struggle in this one as a result. The team’s defense is below average and I think that Loyola Marymount should be able to exploit with ease. I do not expect BYU to suddenly play shutdown defense on the road so I will lean towards the home team in this one.
Prediction: Loyola Marymount
Full-Game Total Pick
Although these teams’ records are almost identical, both teams play extremely different styles. BYU loves to play uptempo while Loyola Marymount loves to slow the game down in order to win games. If Loyola Marymount plans on winning this home game, it will have to control the tempo by slowing BYU’s offense to a crawl. I expect the Lions to be able to do that at home. This total is a bit too high in my opinion. I like the under here.