Illinois Fighting Illini vs. Cornell Big Red
The Illinois Fighting Illini look to bounce back from their first loss of the year as host the Cornell Big Red. The Fighting Illini are -15.5 point favorites over the Big Red with an over/under point total set at 133.5.
It had been smooth sailing for the Illinois Fighting Illini and Head Coach Bruce Weber until they ran into a buzz saw on Saturday and were stomped at home by UNLV. While there isn’t too much shame in losing to UNLV there are plenty of tough tests ahead for UI and they can only hope to build and learn from their first defeat. D.J. Richardson is averaging 14.2 points, Meyers Leonard is averaging 12.8 points and 7.1 rebounds, Sam Maniscalco is averaging 11.5 points, and Brandon Paul is averaging 10.3 points. As a team Illinois is averaging 69.5 points per game and they are shooting 44.7 percent from the field while defensively they are allowing 57.2 points and their opposition shoots just 38.4 percent from the field. After scoring just 48 points on Saturday look for Illinois to be putting the ball up more often.
The Cornell Big Red have had some decent teams over the years and have even been a factor in March Madness but it doesn’t appear that Bill Courtney has a team quite on that level this season. Cornell is 0-3 on the road this year and they will be hard pressed to finish in the top half of the Ivy League this season. Drew Ferry is averaging 14.6 points, Josh Figni is averaging 9.1 points, Chris Wroblewski is averaging 9.0 points and 5.8 assists, and Shonn Miller is averaging 8.6 points and 6.0 rebounds. As a team Cornell is averaging 69.6 points and they are shooting just 42 percent from the floor while defensively they are allowing 71.5 points and their opponents shoot 42.6 percent. The Big Red aren’t getting blown out of the gym but they aren’t winning better than half of their games thus far.
Illinois is 5-2 against the spread following a loss, 1-5 against the spread in their last six games as a favorite of 13 or more points, and 2-5 against the spread following a double digit home loss. Cornell is 5-2 against the spread following a win, 13-6 against the spread in their last 19 road games against a team with a winning home record, and 16-6 against the spread as a road underdog of 13 points or more.
While Illinois should be focused, motivated and fired up, this is just way too many points against a disciplined team who may not have the fire power but they aren’t going to roll over either. I’ll go with the road dog here.
Cornell Big Red +15.5 Illinois Fighting Illini