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Northwestern Wildcats vs. Illinois Fighting Illini Pick, Odds, Prediction 1/12/14

Illinois Fighting Illini (13-3) at Northwestern Wildcats (7-9)

College Basketball: Sunday, January 12, 2014 at 7:30 pm (Welsh-Ryan Arena)

The Line: Northwestern Wildcats +5.5 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds

TV: Big Ten Network

The Northwestern Wildcats and the Illinois Fighting Illini face off on Sunday in Evanston in Big Ten college basketball action.

The Northwestern Wildcats have lost four games in a row including their first three Big 10 conference gams of the season. Northwestern is 6-3 at home this season and they have just one win over a team with a RPI better than 200. Drew Crawford leads the Wildcats averaging 15.7 points and 6.9 rebounds per game. JerShonn Cobb is averaging 12 points, Alex Olah is averaging 9.1 points and 5.1 rebounds, and Tre Demps is averaging 9.9 points. Northwestern is averaging 64.6 points per game and they are shooting 40.7 percent from the floor while defensively  they are allowing 66.6 points and their opponents are shooting 43.1 percent. It looks like it is going to be a tough year for Northwestern.

Northwestern Wildcats vs. Illinois Fighting Illini Pick, Odds, Prediction 1/12/14

David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

The Illinois Fighting Illini looked to be cruising along and they cracked the top 25 but the winning came to a screeching halt last time out as they were crushed by Wisconsin in Madison. Illinois is 1-2 on the road and 2-1 in Big 10 play as they are starting to look like at least a bubble team for March Madness. Rayvonte Rice leads the Illini averaging 18.8 points and 6.0 rebounds per game. Tracy Abrams is averaging 12.6 points, Joseph Bertrand is averaging 11.4 points and 5.8 rebounds, and Jon Ekey is averaging 8.1 points and 5.9 rebounds. Illinois is averaging 72.1 points and they are shooting 42.9 percent from the floor while defensively they are allowing 63.7 points and their opponents are shooting 40.6 percent. Illinois hasn’t taken the easy route playing the 48th ranked schedule in the country.

Northwestern is 2-5 against the spread in their last seven home games, 1-5 against the spread following a loss, and 0-5 against the spread against a team with a winning record. Illinois is 4-0 against the spread following a loss, 2-5-2 against the spread in their last nine road games, and 2-7-1 against the spread against the Big Ten. The underdog has covered he point spread in four of the last five meetings of these two.

My free pick in this one is on the total which hasn’t been released so check back shortly after it is for my free pick. My stronger play in this one is on who will cover the spread and I will post that in the Premium Area as well as on the App. 

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