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Miami Hurricanes vs. Illinois Fighting Illini - 12/2/14 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Illinois Fighting Illini (6-0) at Miami Hurricanes (7-0)

College Basketball: Tuesday, December 2, 2014 at 9:00 pm (BankUnited Center)

The Line: Miami Hurricanes -3.5 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds

TV: ESPN 2

The Illinois Fighting Illini will travel to the BankUnited Center to face the Miami Hurricanes in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge this Tuesday night.

Illinois comes into this match-up ranked 24th in the country and a perfect 6-0 on the season after a 62-54 victory against the Baylor Bears this past Friday night. Although the Fighting Illini struggled from the field (39.0%) and got out-rebounded 47-33 they were able to force the Bears into 15 turnovers and hold them to just 33.3% shooting en route to the victory. Leading the way for the Fighting Illini was Rayvonte Rice who had 17 pts, 7 reb, 3 stl and Malcolm Hill who added 17 pts & 3 reb. Illinois has been getting it done defensively as they are forcing an average of 16.7 turnovers per game and holding opponents to 62.8 ppg on 36.3% shooting. Leading the way for Illinois has been Rayvonte Rice (17.8 ppg, 7.3 rpg, 2.8 spg), Malcolm Hill (14.2 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 1.3 apg), and Aaron Cosby (11.5 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 2.7 apg). The Fighting Illini are currently one of the top offensive teams statistically in the country, as on the season they are averaging 90.0 ppg (ranked 5th) on 48.2% shooting (ranked 46th) while pulling down 39.2 rpg (ranked 65th) and dishing it out 16.3 apg (ranked 39th).

Miami Hurricanes vs. Illinois Fighting Illini - 12/2/14 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction

USA TODAY Sports

The 15th ranked Miami Hurricanes remained undefeated at 7-0 after an 87-75 victory against the South Alabama Jaguars last Friday night. Leading the way for Miami was Tonye Jekiri who had a great all-around game in which he had 13 pts, 8 reb, 8 ast, and 5 blk. The Hurricanes are not expected to do much in a tough ACC this year, however, made a major statement in the beginning of the season with their 69-67 victory at Florida. Miami lost one of their key players in Davon Reed due to injury, however transfers Angel Rodriguez (Kansas State) and Sheldon McClellan (Texas) have made immediate impacts for Jim Larranaga’s Hurricanes. On the season, leading Miami has been Sheldon McClellan (16.7 ppg, 6.1 rpg, 3.0 apg), Angel Rodriguez (14.9 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 4.4 apg, 2.7 spg), Manu Lecomte (13.3 ppg), and Tonye Jekiri (8.3 ppg, 10.9 rpg, 2.3 apg). On the season, the Hurricanes are averaging 77.0 ppg (ranked 51st) on 50.4% shooting (ranked 21st) and holding its opponents to 60.0 ppg (ranked 74th).

The Fighting Illini are 8-0 ATS in their last 8 road games and 14-4-3 ATS in their last 21 non-conference games. The Hurricanes are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 home games however, just 2-7 ATS in their last 9 games vs. the Big Ten.

Both Illinois and Miami have had great starts to the season which have propelled both teams into the top-25 rankings this week. Although Miami have been great on the offensive end in getting quality looks, I do think that Illinois’s defense is going to cause Miami some trouble. Both teams do a great job at protecting the ball and in the end I think that game could down to the last possession. Take the Fighting Illini and the points in this one.  

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Illinois Fighting Illini +3.5

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