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Illinois Fighting Illini vs. Oregon Ducks - 12/13/14 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Oregon Ducks (5-3) at Illinois Fighting Illini (7-2)

College Basketball: Saturday, December 13, 2014 at 7:00 pm (United Center)

The Line: Illinois Fighting Illini -7.5 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds

TV: BTN HD

The Oregon Ducks and the Illinois Fighting Illini will face off at the United Center this Saturday evening.

The Oregon Ducks dropped to 5-3 on the season after losing 79-73 at home last Sunday to the Ole Miss Rebels. Ole Miss jumped all over Oregon out of the gates, taking a 47-33 lead by the end of the first half. Oregon struggled on the offensive end as they were only able to shoot 37.5% from the field and 25.8% (8-31) from three-point range. Oregon was led by Dillon Brooks who had 21 points and 5 rebounds. The Ducks have one of the better players in the Pac-12 in Joseph Young who is averaging 20.4 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 4.9 apg. Joseph Young ranks 20th individually in the county with his 20.4 ppg averaging and is also shooting an incredible 95.1% from the free-throw line which ranks 9th in the country. Oregon is a team that likes to keep the tempo up throughout the game. Offensively, the Ducks are averaging 80.3 ppg (ranked 23rd) on 44.9% shooting (ranked 62nd). Defensively, the Ducks have struggled a bit as their opponents are averaging 68.4 ppg (ranked 214th) on 44.9% shooting (ranked 114th). Oregon does a nice job on the defensive glass as they are grabbing and average of 30.75 defensive rebounds per game which ranks 2nd in the country.

Illinois Fighting Illini vs. Oregon Ducks - 12/13/14 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction

USA TODAY Sports

The Illinois Fighting Illini loss a 73-59 match-up to the 7th ranked Villanova Wildcats at the Jimmy V. Classic this past Tuesday night to drop to 7-2 on the season. The Fighting Illini had every opportunity to upset Villanova however, just couldn’t find any offensive late in the game to stay with the Wildcats. Illinois only shot 41.0% from the field and settled for many outside shots as they only went to the free-throw line 8 times (4-8 FTM-A). Leading the way for the Fighting Illini was Malcolm Hill who had 20 points on 8-16 shooting and 5 rebounds. Illinois have one of the better guard combinations in the country in Rayvonte Rice (16.6 ppg, 7.0 rpg, 2.3 spg) and Malcolm Hill (14.6 ppg, 5.8 rpg, 1.4 apg). Offensively, the Fighting Illini are averaging a solid 81.1 ppg (ranked 20th) on 45.6% shooting (ranked 99th). Illinois is a great free-throw shooting team as they are shooting 76.3% (ranked 14th) at the charity stripe. Although the Fighting Illini statistically are one of the better offensive teams in the country, they’ve really struggled against strong competition as in the three matches they’ve had against top-50 RPI ranked teams, Illinois is only averaging 60.7 ppg. Defensively, Illinois are holding their opponents to 63.9 ppg (ranked 144th) on 39.5% shooting (ranked 95th).

The Ducks are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games following a ATS loss, however, just 1-4 ATS in their last 5 neutral site games. The Fighting Illini are 9-1-1 ATS in their last 11 neutral site games and 8-3-1 ATS in their last 12 non-conference games.

Although this is technically a "neutral-site" game, it's basically a home game for Illinois. Although I'm nervous that Oregon will have trouble containing both Malcom Hill and Rayvonte Rice, I've not convinced that the Fighting Illini have enough to cover this spread. Although I don't think Oregon is going to win this one, I think Joseph Young will keep them close and cover. Take Oregon.

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Oregon Ducks +7.5

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