Indiana Hoosiers vs. Illinois Fighting Illini
The Indiana Hoosiers and the Illinois Fighting Illini meet on Thursday in a Big Ten match up with big implications in the standings. The Hoosiers are -8 point favorites over the Fighting Illini with an over/under point total set at 137.
The Indiana Hoosiers have gone 3-3 in their last six games and Tom Crean’s team is looking to stay ranked among the top 25. Indiana is 6-6 in the Big Ten, 13-1 at home this year, and tied for fifth place in the conference standings. Cody Zeller is averaging 15.1 points and 6.4 rebounds, Jordan Hulls and Christian Watford are averaging 12.1 points each, and Victor Oladipo is averaging 10.5 points and 5.3 rebounds. As a team IU is averaging 78.5 points and they are shooting 49.5 percent while defensively they are allowing 65.7 points and their opponents are shooting 41.9 percent. Indiana is much improved over what we have seen from them in recent years but it would be tough to say they are all the way back at this point.
A few weeks ago the Illinois Fighting Illini cracked the top 25 and Bruce Weber’s team promptly responded by losing four of their next five games. Illinois is 5-5 in the Big 10, 2-3 on the road this season, and tied with the Hoosiers for fifth place in the conference standings. Brandon Paul is averaging 15.1 points and 5.0 rebounds, Meyers Leonard is averaging 13.3 points and 8.0 rebounds, and D.J. Richardson is averaging 12.2 points. As a team Illinois is averaging 66.8 points and they are shooting 44.9 percent while defensively they are allowing 61.3 points and their opponents are shooting 41 percent. Illinois has talent but with back to back road games and a tough schedule ahead they may find themselves on the bubble in March.
Indiana is 4-1 against the spread in their last five Big Ten games, 7-2 against the spread in their last nine home games, and 1-5 against the spread following a win. Illinois is 1-4 against the spread in their last five games overall, 6-15 against the spread in their last 21 Thursday games, and 1-4 against the spread in their last five Big Ten games.
With the total set at 137 this one shouldn’t have much problem going over.