16-15 overall, 8-8 conference, 4th Horizon
Against the spread
13-12-1 (7-5-1 home, 5-7 away)
12-13-1 (7-6 home, 5-6-1 away)
2005 Season Summary
The Loyola Chicago Ramblers finished a disappointing 2004-05 season with a record of 13-17 straight up but a decent 14-13 against the college basketball betting lines. Even more impressive was the fact that the Ramblers got the cash in five of their final seven games of that season, which was a great lesson in college basketball gambling value and the influence of public perception as when Loyola Chicago became the most undesirable with the college basketball betting masses, they were transformed to be at their most valuable state of the season.
Loyola Chicago would begin the 2005-06 season with an unlined 69-61 win at IUPI-Ft. Wayne. In their next game, the home opener against Evansville, the Ramblers scored a 99-86 win and payoff as 7.5-point chalks. That was followed by an unlined 70-55 home win over Luther College and then an 86-72 home win over Bradley in a pick'em affair for a promising start of 2-0 against the spread.
Brief dip against the board
The Ramblers next traveled to Northern Iowa and scored a 56-72 loss as a 12.5-point dog, clearly outclassed in that matchup. That was followed by a 73-63 unlined home win over Western Illinois.
Loyola Chicago got back on track with an 80-65 home win over Purdue as 8-point chalks and followed that up with an 87-72 unlined home win over Lake Forest College. Back on the board at San Diego, the Ramblers lost 57-90 as 3.5-point dogs for a brief dip against the board of 1-2.
Up and down
Loyola Chicago got back on track with a 74-72 win at UC Irvine as 6-point dogs and followed that up with a 77-60 win at Cleveland State as 5-point chalks.
The Ramblers proved to be up and down, however, as they next lost at home to Youngstown State 76-84 as 12-point chalks. That was followed by a 67-73 win at Detroit as 3-point dogs and then a 63-77 win at Wright State as 1-point dogs.
One of the main characteristics about mid major teams from such conferences as the Horizon is that the can go up and down very quickly as far as board value, very much like a tech stock on the market. And, after dropping four of their previous six games against the line, the Ramblers were to be back up as a college basketball gambling commodity.
Loyola Chicago began their resurgence with a 75-78 loss at UW Milwaukee as 12-point dogs. That was followed by a 75-61 home win over Illinois Chicago as 4.5-point chalks. The Ramblers got a third straight payoff with a 74-64 win over Butler as 2.5-point dogs.
Just when a college basketball handicapper would start to believe that Loyola Chicago was back up, they would cross them up and prove to be back down starting with a 66-72 loss to UW Green Bay as 10-point chalks. That was followed by a 68-63 home win over Detroit as 5-point chalks for a push.
Loyola Chicago went back into the tank, however, starting with a 57-68 home loss to UW Milwaukee as 3-point dogs. That was followed by an 81-75 win over Cleveland State as 9-point chalks and then a 59-69 loss at Wisconsin Green Bay as 1-point dogs for a fifth straight game without a payoff.
Just as if it looked like Loyola Chicago was going through a complete collapse against the board, they rallied for three covers in their final five regular season games. In the Horizon Tournament, the Ramblers won and covered their first two games before losing SU&ATS to UW Milwaukee to finish with five covers in their final eight games as bargain values.