Purdue Boilermakers vs. Illinois Fighting Illini
The Illinois Fighting Illini and the Purdue Boilermakers both look to improve their NCAA Tournament resume as they meet in Wednesday Big Ten college basketball action. The Fighting Illini are -3 point favorites over the Boilermakers with an over/under point total set at 131.
In early January the Illinois Fighting Illini were looking like they were going to be a force on the college basketball scene this year but since then Burce Weber’s team has lost six of their last seven games are watching their season slip away. Illinois is 5-7 in Big Ten games, 12-2 at home this season, and in a four way tie for seventh place in the conference standings. Brandon Paul is averaging 15.2 points and and 4.9 rebounds, Meyers Leonard is averaging 13.2 points and 8.0 rebounds, and D.J. Richardson is averaging 12.4 points. As a team Illinois is averaging 66.8 points and they are shooting 44.9 percent while defensively they are allowing 62.6 points and their opponents are shooting 41.6 percent. Illinois will need to finish strong to get back in the good graces of the NCAA Tournament selection committee.
The Purdue Boilermakers didn’t have big expectations coming into this season but even so Matt Painter’s team has played respectably for the most part. Purdue is 6-6 in the Big Ten, 3-4 on the road, and they are in sixth place in the Big Ten. Robbie Hummel is averaging 15.6 points and 6.4 rebounds, Lewis Jackson is averaging 9.8 points, and Ryne Smith is averaging 9.5 points. As a team Purdue is averaging 71.6 points and they are shooting 43.3 percent while defensively they are allowing 65 points and their opponents are shooting 43.2 percent. It will take a strong finish for Purdue to be considered for the field of 68.
Illinois is 3-7 against the spread in their last 10 home games, 1-4 against the spread following a loss, and 1-6 against the spread in their last seven games overall. Purdue is 0-4 against the spread following a win, 1-9 against the spread following a cover, and 5-1 against the spread in their last six trips to Illinois. The road team has covered in five of the last six meetings of these two.
The Illini have played big against the big teams and not so big against everyone else but it’s time for them to stand up and be counted against them all and they show how that is done here.
Illinois Fighting Illini -3 Purdue Boilermakers