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Northwestern vs. Illinois - 12/1/17 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Illinois Fighting Illini (6-1) at Northwestern Wildcats (4-3)

College Basketball: Friday, December 1, 2017 at 9:00 pm (Allstate Arena)

The Line: Northwestern Wildcats -7 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds

TV: BTN

The Illinois Fighting Illini and the Northwestern Wildcats open the month of December with a Big Ten Conference college basketball matchup on Friday.

The Illinois Fighting Illini will try to rebound from their first loss of the season, an 80-73 loss to Wake Forest last time out. Aaron Jordan led the team with 20 points on 6 of 10 shooting with a 4 for 6 mark from downtown with 5 rebounds and a pair of steals. Kipper Nichols came 2nd with 14 points with a team-high 7 rebounds, while Leron Black added 10 points and 7 boards of his own to round out the scoring in double figures for the Illini. Te’Jon Lucas added 5 points and a team-high 4 assists, while Trent Frazier added 3 steals in the winning efforts for Illinois. Black leads the team in scoring this season with an average of 14.1 points per game while Lucas is the team’s leading assist man with 4 dimes per game this season. Michael Finke is the team’s top rebounder, pulling down 6 boards per game this season. As a team, Illinois is scoring 86.7 points per game on 44.7% shooting from the field, 34.6% from behind the arc and 76.4% from the foul line this season.

Northwestern vs. Illinois - 12/1/17 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction

USA TODAY Sports

The Northwestern Wildcats will try to find a measure of consistency after alternating wins and losses in each of their last 6 games, falling to 4-3 on the year with a heartbreaking 52-51 loss to Georgia Tech. Bryant McIntosh led the team with 18 points on 8 of 18 shooting with a pair of threes and a team-high 5 assists, while Vic Law added 12 points with 5 rebounds and 3 steals and Dererk Pardon chipped in 10 points and 12 rebounds for the double-double. McIntosh leads the team with an average of 15.7 points and 5.7 assists per game this season and Pardon is the team’s leading rebounder with 6.1 rebounds this season. As a team, Northwestern is scoring 72.1 points per game on 43.9% shooting from the field, 34.6% from behind the arc and 76.3% from the foul line this season.

Illinois is 0-4 ATS in their last 4 road games and 6-2 ATS in their last 8 games against a team with a winning record while the under is 8-0 in their last 8 games following a loss. Northwestern is 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games overall and 5-0 ATS in their last 5 games following a loss while the over is 5-1 in their last 6 home games. Illinois is 6-1 ATS in their last 7 trips to Northwestern.

Both of these teams lost their respective ACC/Big Ten challenge matchups, and for me, the Illini were the bigger letdown as I thought they had a chance to win the game outright and they led for a good chunk of the game before letting it slip away. Northwestern has been up and down all season, including covering just 1 of their 5 lined games this season. Add that with Illinois’ success against Northwestern ATS, and I think the Illini start conference play with a cover here.

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