The Loyola-Chicago Ramblers ride a 14-game winning streak into their Final Four matchup against the Michigan Wolverines on Saturday in San Antonio. But the Wolverines own a 13-game winning streak of their own. Where is the betting value in this contest?
March Madness point spread: The Wolverines opened as 6.5-point favorites; the total is at 126.5, according to sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark. (Line updates and matchup report)
March Madness betting pick, via OddsShark computer: 68.6-64.7, Wolverines (March Madness picks on every game)
Why Loyola-Chicago can cover the spread
The Ramblers reached the Final Four for the first time since 1963 by beating Kansas State in the South region final 78-62, winning outright as a one-point underdog. Loyola grabbed a 10-point lead five minutes into the game, led 36-24 at the half and later pushed that advantage to 23 points midway through the second half in a shockingly easy victory.
On the night the Ramblers shot a hot 57 percent from the floor, hit 9 for 18 from three-point range and 15 for 18 from the free-throw line. They also stymied Kansas State into just 35 percent field goal shooting. So far in this NCAA tournament, Loyola is shooting 53 percent from the floor.
The Ramblers opened this Dance with a 64-62 victory over Miami, then beat Tennessee 63-62, then edged Nevada 69-68. On the season, Loyola is 6-0 SU and 5-1 ATS against teams that made this NCAA tournament.
Why Michigan can cover the spread
The Wolverines reached the Final Four for the second time in the last six seasons by beating Florida State in the West region final 58-54. Michigan led by a point at the half, went up by 10 early in the second half and hung on from there. Unfortunately, a couple of late Seminoles buckets cost the Wolverines the cover as four-point favorites.
On the night Michigan only shot 39 percent from the floor, but they held Florida State to 32 percent and won the turnover battle 13-10. Two days prior the Wolverines shot 62 percent from the floor in lighting up Texas A&M 99-72.
Michigan opened this Dance with a 61-47 win over Montana, then edged Houston 64-63 on that clutch three-pointer at the buzzer by freshman Jordan Poole. On the season the Wolverines are now 10-4 SU and 10-3-1 ATS against teams that made the NCAA tournament.
Smart betting pick
The Ramblers were probably taken lightly by each of their first four opponents in this Big Dance, but they'll have Michigan's full attention here. Also, Loyola probably will not shoot 57 percent, like they did last time out, while the Wolverines will probably improve upon their last shooting performance. The clock strikes midnight for Loyola on Saturday; smart money bets Michigan.
March Madness betting trends
The total has gone over in five of Michigan's last seven games on a Saturday.
Michigan is 10-0 SU and 7-3 ATS in its last 10 games as a favorite.
Loyola-Chicago is 0-7 SU and 1-6 ATS in its last seven games against the Big Ten.
All college basketball odds and betting trends courtesy of Bleacher Report’s official odds partner, OddsShark. Check out OddsShark on Twitter and Instagram or head to YouTube for more betting picks and analysis on this week's top games. You can also download the free odds tracker app.