Illinois Fighting Illini vs. Michigan Wolverines
The Illinois Fighting Illini and the Michigan Wolverines battle it out on Thursday in Big Ten college basketball action. The Illini are -1 point favorites over the Wolverines with an over/under point total set at 120.5.
The Illinois Fighting Illini are one of the more disappointing teams in the nation as Bruce Weber’s team has wins over Ohio State and Michigan State but a whole bunch of bad losses to go along with them. Illinois is 6-10 in the Big 10, 13-3 at home this season, in ninth place in the conference standings, and 2-6 against teams ranked in the top 25. Brandon Paul is averaging 14.8 points and 4.6 rebounds, Meyers Leonard is averaging 13.4 points and 8.1 rebounds, and D.J. Richardson is averaging 12.1 points. As a team Illinois is averaging 66.2 points and they are shooting 44.4 percent while defensively they are allowing 63.8 points and their opponents are shooting 42.8 percent. The big suspense for Illinois at this point is if Weber will be back for next season.
The Michigan Wolverines have been ranked in the top 25 for most of the season and John Beilein’s team is going to find out just how good they are as they move into March. UM is 11-5 in the Big 10, 3-6 on the road this season, and they are tied for second place in the conference standings. Trey Burke is averaging 14.2 points and 4.8 assists, Tim Hardaway Jr. is averaging 14.1 points, and Zack Novack is averaging 9.6 points. As a team the Wolverines are averaging 66.3 points and they are shooting 45.6 percent while defensively they are allowing 60.4 points and their opponents are shooting 42.4 percent. Michigan is coming off of their first home loss of the season, a loss that ended a four game winning streak overall.
Illinois is 1-6 against the spread in their last seven games overall, 0-4 against the spread following a cover, and 1-4 against the spread in their last five home games against a team with a losing road record. Michigan is 22-7 against the spread in their last 29 Big Ten games, 13-5-1 against the spread in their last 19 road games, and 34-16-1 against the spread in their last 51 games overall. The home team is 19-4 against the spread in the last 23 meetings of these two.
This game has trap written all over it and I am going to go with the home team.
Illinois Fighting Illini -1 Michigan Wolverines