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West Virginia Mountaineers vs. Illinois Fighting Illini - 11/24/16 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Illinois Fighting Illini (4-1) at West Virginia Mountaineers (3-0)

College Basketball: Thursday, November 24, 2016 at 2:30 pm (Barclays Center)

The Line: West Virginia Mountaineers -9 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds

TV: ESPNU

Coming up on Thursday from Barclays Center in Brooklyn, we’ve got college basketball action headed our way between the Illinois Fighting Illini and the West Virginia Mountaineers. 

Illinois enters play here with a 4-1 record on the year. The Illini started out the season with wins over Southeast Missouri State 81-62, Northern Kentucky 79-64, McKendree 112-65 and Detroit Mercy 89-69, but fell to Winthrop 84-80 in overtime during their last outing. 

West Virginia Mountaineers vs. Illinois Fighting Illini - 11/24/16 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction

USA TODAY Sports

So far this season, Malcolm Hill has been the standout star for the Illini, bagging 20.6 PPG and 7.8 RPG, while Tracy Abrams (12.8 PPG) and Michael Finke (12.4 PPG; 7.4 RPG) are playing well also. Maverick Morgan (10.4 PPG) and Leron Black (10.0 PPG) are also averaging in double figures for Illinois right now. 

As for West Virginia, they’re entering play here with a 3-0 record on the season. The Mountaineers bagged wins over Mount St. Mary’s 87-59, Mississippi Valley State 107-66 and New Hampshire 100-41 to start out the season. In the New Hampshire game, West Virginia took the first half 46-20 and the second 54-21. 

Nathan Adrian leads West Virginia in scoring so far with 13.3 PPG and 8.0 RPG, while three players (Jevon Carter, Lamont West and Esa Ahmad) are averaging 10.7 PPG. Teyvon Myers is also averaging in double figures for the Mountaineers with 10.3 PPG. 

Illinois is 5-2 ATS in their last seven games following a straight-up loss, and 2-5 ATS in their last seven versus the Big 12. Illinois is also 1-5 ATS in their last six Thursday games, and 0-2-2 ATS in their last four non-conference games. 

As for West Virginia, they’re 5-1 ATS in their last six games following a straight-up win, and 17-5 ATS in their last 22 home games. West Virginia is also 6-2 ATS in their last eight games overall, and 1-4 ATS in their last five non-conference games. 

Both West Virginia and Illinois are looking pretty good to start out the season, but this will likely be the stoutest test so far for either team. Both the Illini and the Mountaineers have a solid and deep group of scorers, but I’m a little concerned for Illinois right now after wilting late against Winthrop. I’ll take West Virginia to cover here in what should be an entertaining game.

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West Virginia Mountaineers -9

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