College basketball season is finally back and when I say back I mean there are 131 division one games being played today. One of the games being played is between Loyola (MD) and DePaul at 7:45 PM ET on Fox Sports 1 and I think this game is one of the more underrated games for the day. Let’s break down the game and get into what side I’ll be betting on.
Loyola Maryland comes into this season picked to finish sixth in the Patriot League preseason poll. The Greyhounds went (14-16) last season and return 13 players, two of which are key players and leading scorers from last season Jaylin Andrews and Kenneth Jones. Despite returning a large majority of last season's roster, Freshman Deon Perry is also expected to play a big role for this Loyola Maryland team as well.
The defense was the strong suit of the Greyhounds last season as they were able to lead the Patriot League in steals per game and finish second in the conference in points allowed per game as well. Loyola Maryland opened the season 1-4 last year so they will be looking to get off to a much stronger start this year. However, it will be a tough task against this talented DePaul team.
DePaul has an incredibly deep roster this season and has the ability to go deep into their bench if they really needed to. The Blue Demons were picked to finish last in the Big East despite boasting this talented roster. Nick Ongenda and Jalen Terry will look to supply the bulk of the scoring for head coach Tony Stubblefield.
Talented true freshman Zion Cruz will make his collegiate basketball debut tonight as the highly touted recruit will look to get this program out of the basement of the Big East. The offensive ability and depth are there for this Depaul team it’s just a matter of if they put it together on both sides of the ball.
The best odds for this game can be found at Caesars Sportsbook as they have DePaul favored by (-13.5) points. Other sportsbooks have this spread set anywhere between 13.5 and 14.5 points in favor of DePaul. The point total can be found at 137 on Caesars Sportsbook and 137.5 on FanDuel and a majority of the other Sportsbooks.
My best bet is sticking with the favorite in DePaul at (-13.5). The Blue Demons historically play better when they are at home and are 6-2 ATS in their last 8 home games. I think they possess too many offensive weapons for Loyola Maryland to handle in the first game of the season.
The Greyhounds went 1-6 ATS in their last 7 road games last season and have essentially the same roster tonight that they did in those games. Loyola Maryland might be able to guard Patriot League teams but the length and athleticism DePaul possesses in both their starting line-up and off the bench will be too much of a challenge to keep this game close for them.