Auburn Tigers vs. Illinois Fighting Illini
The Illinois Fighting Illini and the Auburn Tigers face off on Saturday in a Big Ten versus SEC college basketball match up. The Fighting Illini are -10.5 point favorites over the Tigers with an over/under point total set at 129.
The Illinois Fighting Illini suffered their first loss of the season last Saturday against Missouri and they will be looking to bounce back in a big way here. This is Illinois last game before starting their Big Ten schedule on Wednesday at Purdue followed by games at home against national ranked Ohio State and Minnesota. As a team Illinois is averaging 76.6 points, 11.8 assists, and they are shooting 44.3 percent while defensively they are allowing 64.1 points, 11.9 assists, and their opponents are shooting 40.5 percent. Brandon Paul is averaging 19.2 points and 5.3 rebounds, D.J. Richardson is averaging 11.2 points, and Tracy Abrams is averaging 10.9 points. The Big Ten looks to be the best conference in the nation and no team figures to go their conference schedule unscathed.
The Auburn Tigers look to be in store for another long season and they are coming off of a seven point home loss to Winthrop. Auburn had strung together three wins but after Saturday’s upset they are a game under .500. As a team Auburn is averaging 67.2 points, 13.6 assists, and they are shooting 42.1 percent while defensively they are allowing 62.6 points, 10.9 assists, and their opponents are shooting 39.8 percent. Frankie Sullivan is averaging 16.9 points, Rob Chubb is averaging 9.2 points and 7.4 rebounds, and Chris Denson is averaging 17 points per game. If AU doesn’t turn it around in a hurry Tony Barbee may be looking for a new gig.
Illinois is 7-17 against the spread in their last 24 games overall, 1-6 against the spread in their last seven Saturday games, and 0-4 against the spread against a team with a losing record. Auburn is 11-5 against the spread against a team with a winning record, 5-15-1 against the spread in their last 21 neutral site games, and 3-10 against the spread in their last 13 non-conference games.
This game should be all about the defense and I look for it to come in under the total.