Iowa Hawkeyes vs. Illinois Fighting Illini
The Iowa Hawkeyes and the Illinois Fighting Illini face off on Saturday as they finish their Big Ten college basketball regular season. The Hawkeyes are -1-.5 point favorites over the Fighting Illini.
The Iowa Hawkeyes have lost four of their last five games as they are stumbling towards the post season. Iowa is 9-8 in the Big Ten and 13-3 at home this season. Roy Devyn Marble is averaging 17.3 points per game to lead the Hawkeyes. Aaron White is averaging 13.3 points and 6.7 rebounds, Mike Gessell is averaging 8.2 points, and Melsahn Basabe is averaging 7.7 points and 5.8 rebounds. Iowa is averaging 83.3 points and they are shooting 47 percent while defensively they are allowing 70.3 points and their opponents are shooting 41 percent. Iowa is ranked 24th in the nation but it is unlikely they will hold onto that spot whether they win or lose.
The Illinois Fighting Illini have won three of their last four games but it is way too little and way too late. Illinois is 6-11 in the Big Ten and 7-7 away from home this season. Rayvonte Rice leads the Illini averaging 15.8 points and 6.1 rebounds per game. Tracy Abrams is averaging 10.6 points, Joseph Bertrand is averaging 9.0 points, and Jon Ekey is averaging 7.2 points and 5.2 rebounds. Illinois is averaging 64.7 points and they are shooting 40.7 percent while defensively they are allowing 62.8 points and their opponents are shooting 41.9 percent. Illinois will have a post season but it won’t be the NCAA Tournament.
Iowa is 9-4 against the spread following a loss, 0-5 against the spread against the Big Ten, and 35-16 against the spread in their last 51 home games. Illinois is 3-7 against the spread following a loss, 5-0 against the spread following a double-digit home loss, and 16-34-1 against the spread in their last 51 home games. The favorite has covered the point spread in seven of the last eight meetings of these two.
This number is simply too big and I am taking the points with Illinois.
Illinois Fighting Illini +10.5 Iowa Hawkeyes