Michigan Wolverines vs. Illinois Fighting Illini
The Michigan Wolverines and the Illinois Fighting Illini meet in a Big Ten battle of NCAA Tournament hopefuls. The Wolverines are -5.5 point favorites over the Fighting Illini with an over/under point total of 119.
The Michigan Wolverines have been alternating wins and losses and coming off of a win in their last John Beilein’s team look to make it two in a row here. Michigan is 8-4 in the Big 10, 13-0 at home this season, and they are tied for third place in the conference standings. Tim Hardaway Jr. is averaging 14.3 points, Trey Burke is averaging 14 points and 4.9 rebounds, and Zack Novack is averaging 9.6 points and 4.6 rebounds. As a team UM is averaging 66.8 points and they are shooting 46 percent while defensively they are allowing 60.4 points and their opponents are shooting 42.4 percent. Michigan is ranked 22nd in the nation and it shouldn’t take many more wins to clinch their spot in March Madness.
The Illinois Fighting Illini looked like the ywere going to be a contender this season but Bruce Weber;s team has lost five of their last six games and will need a strong finish to cement a spot in the NCAA Tournament. UI is 5-6 in the Big 10, 2-4 on the road this season, and they are in a three way tie for sixth place in the conference standings. Brandon Paul is averaging 15 points and 5.0 rebounds, Meyers Leonard is averaging 13.5 points and 7.8 rebounds, and D.J. Richardson is averaging 12.5 points. As a team Illinois is averaging 67 points and they are shooting 45.1 percent and their opponents are averaging 62.2 points and shooting 41.3 percent. Illinois is going to need to show the selection committee they belong as they may find themselves on the bubble.
Michigan is 19-7 against the spread in their last 26 home games, 0-4-1 against the spread following a win, and 19-7 against the spread against the Big Ten. Illinois is 1-4 against the spread in their last five road games, 1-5 against the spread in their last six Big Ten games, and 1-4 against the spread against a team with a winning record. Illinois is 1-10 against the spread in their last 11 games in Michigan.
The total is simply too low here as this game goes over the total.