Iowa Hawkeyes vs. Illinois Fighting Illini
The Iowa Hawkeyes and the Illinois Fighting Illini face off on Tuesday in a Big Ten college basketball match up. The Hawkeyes are -3.5 point favorites over the Fighting Illini with an over/under point total set at 136.
The Iowa Hawkeyes have lost two of their last three games and while they should have a post season it more than likely won’t be in the NCAA Tournament. Iowa is 7-9 in the Big 10, 14-2 at home, and they have a RPI of 86. As a team Iowa is averaging 70.9 points, 15.1 assists, and they are shooting 42 percent while defensively they are allowing 63.5 points, 11.6 assists, and their opponents are shooting 39.1 percent. Roy Devyn Marble is averaging 14.2 points, Aaron White is averaging 13.7 points and 6.2 rebounds, and Mike Gesell is averaging 9.0 points. Iowa has had their chances but the loss to Nebraska where they blew on 19-point lead on February 23rd might ultimately be their undoing.
The Illinois Fighting Illini have won six of their last seven games as they have hit March with a full head of steam. Illinois is 8-8 in the Big Ten, 6-4 on the road this season, and they have played the eighth ranked schedule in the country. As a team Illinois is averaging 70.8 points, 10.7 assists, and their opponents are shooting 42.8 percent while defensively they are allowing 65.3 points, 11.9 assists, and their opponents are shooting 42.4 percent. Brandon Paul is averaging 16.1 points, D.J. Richardson is averaging 12.8 points, and Tracy Abrams is averaging 10.8 points. Illinois has looked really good and really bad at different times this season and they can only hope they are at the top of their game in the coming weeks as they are just about a lock to be in the NCAA Tournament field.
Iowa is 5-0 against the spread against a team with a winning record, 6-2 against the spread in their last eight games overall, and 20-7 against the spread in their last 27 home games. Illinois is 4-1 against the spread in their last five road games, 3-7 against the spread following a win, and 9-21 against the spread in their last 30 Big 10 games. Illinois has covered the point spread in five of the last six meetings of these two.
The total is set at 136 and I have it going under that number.