UNLV Rebels vs. Illinois Fighting Illini Pick-Odds-Prediction - 11/26/13
Illinois Fighting Illini (5-0) at UNLV Rebels (2-2)
College Basketball: Tuesday, November 26, 2013 at 10:45 pm (Thomas & Mack Center)
The Line: UNLV Rebels +4 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds
The UNLV Rebels host the undefeated Illinois Fighting Illini in a Tuesday night tilt.
Illinois has begun the season firing on all cylinders at 5-0 with all five victories coming by double figures although the schedule has yet to be difficult. Both ends of the floor have been rock solid thus far which was evident in their 77-53 decision over Chicago State. The Fighting Illini won the shooting battle 47%-40% but exerted their superiority on the backboards 35-17 while enjoying advantages in most areas. Jon Ekey led the Illini offense with a game best 19 points and six yanks followed by the trio of Rayvonte Rice, Tracy Abrams and Joseph Bertrand who scored 12 points each with the latter grabbing eight boards.
Bradley Leeb-USA TODAY Sports
It's difficult to get a handle on UNLV as this team is forever linked to the past success of teams before them which is how many fans look at things. That is really a tough act to be expected to follow because the Rebels have had some awesome squads. This season's version might need some time to gel given the 2-2 record. The defense suffered too many breakdowns in an 86-80 loss to Arizona State in what the boxscore says was a fairly even match up with ASU holding a slight 44%-41% shooting advantage. A few more threes and a few more shots were about as decisive as it got for Arizona State. Roscoe Smith was high man in points for the Rebels with 21 while ripping down 21 rebounds with Kevin Olekaibe tossing in 14 while Bryce Dejean-Jones and Kendall Smith added 13 points each while Khem Birch scored eleven and grabbed 14 boards.
Anytime you lay points on the road there is built in danger so I'm always leary doing it but right now I think Illinois is playing well so I'll ride them...