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Illinois vs. Northwestern - 2/28/15 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Northwestern Wildcats (14-14) at Illinois Fighting Illini (17-11)

College Basketball: Saturday, February 28, 2015 at 7:00 pm (State Farm Center)

The Line: Illinois Fighting Illini -7 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds

TV: Big Ten Network

The Northwestern Wildcats and Illinois Fighting Illini meet Saturday at the State Farm Center.

The Northwestern Wildcats look to stay hot after winning four straight games. On the season, Northwestern is averaging 63.6 points on 43.6 percent shooting and is allowing 62.9 points on 41.3 percent shooting. Tre Demps is averaging 12.7 points and 2.7 assists while Bryant McIntosh is averaging 11.8 points and 2.7 rebounds. Alex Olah is the third double-digit scorer and Vic Law is grabbing five rebounds. The Northwestern Wildcats have four players averaging at least seven points, and they’re shooting 73.3 percent from the line and 35.6 percent from downtown. Defensively, Northwestern is allowing 37.2 percent shooting from deep and has given up 66 or less points in four straight games.

Illinois vs. Northwestern - 2/28/15 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction

USA TODAY Sports

The Illinois Fighting Illini need this win after splitting their last 10 games. On the season, Illinois is averaging 69.8 points on 41.8 percent shooting and is allowing 63.1 points on 41.3 percent shooting. Rayvonte Rice is averaging 16.2 points and 6.6 rebounds while Malcolm Hill is averaging 14.3 points and five rebounds. Kendrick Nunn is the third double-digit scorer and Ahmad Starks is dishing 2.4 assists. The Illinois Fighting Illini have four players averaging at least 7.9 points, and they’re shooting 79.5 percent from the line and 36 percent from deep. Defensively, Illinois is allowing 32.5 percent shooting from deep and has given up 60 or less points in five of its last seven games.

The Wildcats are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games following a ATS win and 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games overall. The Fighting Illini are 2-5 ATS in their last 7 Saturday games and 11-4-1 ATS in their last 16 home games vs. a team with a losing road record. The underdog is 5-2 ATS in the last 7 meetings and the road team is 6-1 ATS in the last 7 meetings.

The Illinois Fighting Illini have been playing better ball since Rice returned to the court, and they should be able to beat up an inconsistent Northwestern squad. Give me the home team by double digits.

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Illinois Fighting Illini -7

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