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Illinois Fighting Illini vs. Minnesota Golden Gophers - 3/9/16 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Minnesota Golden Gophers (8-22) at Illinois Fighting Illini (13-18)

College Basketball: Wednesday, March 9, 2016 at 4:30 pm (Bankers Life Fieldhouse)

The Line: Illinois Fighting Illini -7 -- Over/Under: 136 See the Latest Odds

TV: ESPN2

The Illinois Fighting Illini will play the Minnesota Golden Gophers in the first round of the Big Ten Conference Tournament.

The Minnesota Golden Gophers are 8-22 (2-16) and are the #13 seed in the Big Ten tournament. Minnesota finished the regular season by losing 3 games in a row and is coming off of a loss to Rutgers by a score of 75-52. Minnesota is averaging 68.5 points per game while giving up 73.6 points per game. Minnesota is also averaging 34.7 rebounds per game and 12.4 assists per game. Nate Mason and Joey King are out for Minnesota for this game. Jordan Murphy is averaging 11.7 points per game and 8 rebounds per game for Minnesota. Minnesota is shooting 70.8% on free throws, 30.9% on three-pointers, and 40.6% on all field goal attempts.

Illinois Fighting Illini vs. Minnesota Golden Gophers - 3/9/16 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction

USA TODAY Sports

The Illinois Fighting Illini are 13-18 (5-13) and are the #12 seed in the Big Ten tournament. Illinois finished the regular season by losing 4 of their last 5 games and is coming off of a loss to Penn State by a score of 86-79. Illinois swept the season series with Minnesota by scores of 84-71 and 76-71. Illinois is averaging 72.3 points per game while giving up 75.3 points per game. Illinois is also averaging 31.8 rebounds per game and 13.3 assists per game. Malcolm Hill is averaging 18.6 points per game and 6.6 rebounds per game for Illinois. Kendrick Nunn is averaging 15.6 points per game and 5.1 rebounds per game for the Fighting Illini. Illinois is shooting 74.7% on free throws, 35.7% on three-pointers, and 42.9% on all field goal attempts.

Minnesota is 0-5 ATS in their last 5 neutral site games. Minnesota is 3-9 ATS in their last 12 Wednesday games. The over is 5-1 in Minnesota’s last 6 neutral site games. Illinois is 9-3-3 ATS in their last 15 Wednesday games. Illinois is 1-7-1 ATS in their last 9 neutral site games. The over is 8-2 in the last 10 games following an ATS loss for Illinois.

Minnesota is missing two of their better players and has not played very well this season. Illinois is also battling some injury problems, but has had a better season than Minnesota. With the way that Minnesota is playing and with their injuries, I like Illinois to win easily. 

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Illinois Fighting Illini -8

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