Illinois Fighting Illini (5-3) at Penn State Nittany Lions (3-2)
College Basketball: Wednesday, December 23, 2020 at 6:30 pm (Bryce Jordan Center)
The Line: Penn State Nittany Lions +3 -- Over/Under: 152.5 Click to Get Latest Betting Odds
The Illinois Fighting Illini and the Penn State Nittany Lions meet in Big Ten conference college basketball action from the Bryce Jordan Center on Wednesday night.
The Illinois Fighting Illini will look to find some consistenct after alternating wins and losses in each of their last 6 games following a 91-88 loss to Rutgers last time out. Ayo Dosunmu led the Illini with 22 points on 10 of 20 shooting with 11 rebounds and a team-high 6 assists while Trent Frazier added 19 points on 6 of 10 shooting with 3 threes and 5 rebounds. Kofi Cockburn added 17 points on 7 of 12 shooting with 12 rebounds for the double-double while Damonte Williams added 12 points with 4 threes and Giorgi Bezhanishvili chipped in 11 points on 5 of 7 shooting to cap off Illinois’ double-digit scoring as a team in the loss. Dosunmu leads Illinois in scoring and assists with an average of 22.6 points and 5.3 assists per game while Cockburn leads the Illini in rebounding with 9.8 rebounds per game this season. As a team, Illinois is averaging 88.3 points on 53.7% shooting from the field, 45% from 3-point range and 68.3% from the foul line while allowing opposing teams to average 70 points on 39.6% shooting from the field and 29.2% from 3-point range this season.
The Penn State Nittany Lions could use a nice home win after falling to 3-2 on the year with a 62-58 loss to Michigan last time out. Izaiah Brockington led the Nittany Lions with 14 points on 5 of 14 shooting with a pair of threes and 6 rebounds while Sam Sessoms and Myreon Jones added 10 points apiece to round out the trio of double-digit scorers for the Nittany Lions. Jamari Wheeler added a team-high 4 assists and 3 steals for Penn State while Trent Buttrick added a team-high 7 rebounds as well in the defeat. Seth Lundy leads Penn State in scoring with an average of 14.4 points per game while Wheeler leads the Nittany Lions in assists with 4.6 assists per game and John Harrar leads the Nittany Lions in rebounding with 7 rebounds per game this season. As a team, Penn State is averaging 76.6 points on 42.1% shooting from the field, 37.7% from 3-point range and 73.3% from the foul line while allowing opposing teams to average 69.8 points on 44.6% shooting from the field and 31.7% from 3-point range this season.
Illinois is 8-3 ATS in their last 11 games following a loss and 1-4 ATS in their last 5 road games while the over is 10-1-1 in their last 12 games overall. Penn State is 1-5 ATS in their last 6 home games and 3-8 ATS in their last 11 games overall whiule the under is 9-1 in their last 10 games against a team with a winning record. The road team is 4-1 ATS in the last 5 meetings between these two teams.
I think a home dog is always worth a look, especially in conference play. However, Penn State simply doesn’t have the size inside to match up with the likes of Cockburn inside for Illinois and I think the guard play of the Illini is just better than what the Nittany Lions are bringing to the table in this game. I think we’re going to see Illinois take out some frustration here after dropping a pair of winnable games so I’ll lay the points with Illinois on the road in this one.