BYU vs Loyola Marymount Basketball Prediction & Picks: Will the Lions cage the Cougars in big cat clash?

Eddie Griffin

BYU is hot after a so-so start to the college basketball season, and tonight, the Cougars (12-5, 2-0 West Coast Conference) will visit Loyola Marymount (11-5, 1-1 WCC) seeking their eighth straight win.

Tonight’s matchup at the Gersten Pavillion in Los Angeles will tip off at 11:00 pm ET (8:00 pm local time) and will be televised by ESPNU.

The Cougars split their first ten games, but a 15-point home loss at the hands of Utah Valley proved to be a real wake-up call, as they have been on a roll since.

Can it keep going tonight? LMU wrapped up 2022 with a loss at Pacific, but the Lions have some decent wins and are 7-1 at home thus far this season. So, the Cougars may be in for a challenge tonight.

Read on for our BYU vs Loyola Marymount basketball prediction, as well as our picks and analysis for the matchup between the Cougars and Lions.

BYU vs Loyola Marymount Odds

Odds are via FanDuel as of Thursday, January 5, 2023, at 7:10 pm ET. This article may also include odds from our other recommended legal sports betting sites.


  • BYU -1.5 (-105)
  • Loyola Marymount +1.5 (-115)


  • Over 144.5 (-110)
  • Under 144.5 (-110)


  • BYU -115
  • Loyola Marymount -104

Will Both BYU and Loyola Marymount Be on Fire from Three Tonight?

Having an experienced core appears to be paying off in Stan Johnson’s third season at the helm for the Lions.

After going 11-18 last season and winning just three WCC games, the Lions already have 11 wins and look likely to win more than three conference games this season.

Loyola Marymount has six players averaging at least 7.1 PPG. Of that group, four were on last year’s team, led by Cam Shelton (18.3 PPG, 6.0 RPG, 4.4 APG) and Keli Leaupepe (14.1 PPG, 6.9 RPG).

The Lions are fifth in the conference in scoring (76.9 PPG), one spot ahead of BYU, and they are also fifth in the conference in field goal percentage (45.5%).

Almost 45% of their shots–437 of 981 total field-goal attempts–are threes, and they shoot them at a 35.2% clip, led by Leaupepe’s 42.6%

Like Loyola Marymount, the Cougars love the three as well, as 462 of their 1024 shots this season (45.1%) have come from outside, though they are a bit less accurate than the Lions, making exactly one-third (154) of their attempts.

It is worth noting that during their win streak, BYU has alternated with being successful and being not as successful from outside.

If the trend continues, tonight will be a good night for them. In Saturday’s win over Portland, they were 9 of 26 (34.6%) from three.

Perimeter Shooting for BYU – Last Seven Games

  • Creighton: 7 of 24 (29.2%)
  • Western Oregon: 15 of 33 (45.5%)
  • Utah: 7 of 24 (29.2%)
  • Lindenwood: 12 of 28 (42.9%)
  • Weber State: 6 of 24 (25%)
  • Pacific: 11 of 25 (44%)
  • Portland: 9 of 26 (34.6%)

Loyola Marymount has a notable trend with outside shooting that is worth watching tonight as well.

In their 78-72 loss at Pacific last Saturday, the Lions were just 4 of 25 (16%) from three, which is their second-lowest percentage of the season and the fourth time shooting 30.0% or worse from three this season.

Here is what they have done following the three previous instances:

  • made 3 of 21 (14.3%) in a loss at UC Irvine: made 12 of 35 (34.3%) vs Georgetown in a win
  • made 6 of 20 (30%) in a win vs Nevada: made 8 of 18 (44.4%) at Grand Canyon in a win
  • made 8 of 29 (27.6%) in a win vs Tulsa: made 15 of 30 (50%) at Portland in a win

BYU vs Loyola Marymount Prediction and Picks

BYU vs Loyola Marymount Prediction: BYU to win

BYU vs Loyola Marymount Picks: BYU ML (Best Value: BetMGM) & BYU/Loyola Marymount over 143.5 (Best Value: BetMGM)

I think that both of these teams will do well tonight from outside, but I think the better team will come out on top here.

Loyola Marymount’s wins over Wake Forest and Nevada certainly can’t be discounted, but I don’t think the gap between these teams has quite been closed from what it has been, as much as keeping a solid core together has helped LMU move towards respectability.

Since the Cougars joined the West Coast Conference over a decade ago, the Lions have beaten them just three times in 24 meetings, including just once in the last 19. Entering tonight, the Cougars have won the last eight meetings since a 76-69 LMU win in February 2018.

I don’t think BYU will win tonight by 20+ like they did in both of last season’s meetings, but I think the Cougars will extend their current win streak to eight games by picking up their ninth straight win over the Lions.

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Eddie Griffin

Eddie Griffin has been writing about and betting on sports for over a decade. He joined the ranks of Betting News as a content manager. For more of his thoughts on sports and sports betting, you can follow him on Twitter.

Eddie Griffin has been writing about and betting on sports for over a decade. He joined the ranks of Betting News as a content manager. For more of his thoughts on sports and sports betting, you can follow him on Twitter.