Illinois Fighting Illini (18-6) vs. Rutgers Scarlet Knights (15-9)
February 16, 2022 7:00 pm EDT
The Line: Rutgers Scarlet Knights +5 / Illinois Fighting Illini -5; Over/Under: 132.5
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The 12th ranked Illinois Fighting Illini will travel to Jersey Mike’s Arena to take on the Rutgers Scarlet Knights this Wednesday night in College Basketball action.
The 12th ranked Illinois Fighting Illini improved to 18-6 on the season after defeating the Northwestern Wildcats, 73-66, this past Sunday. Illinois allowed Northwestern to fight back to make it a competitive game late in the 2nd half after holding a 44-30 halftime lead, however, the Fighting Illini was able to hold off the Wildcats for the victory after taking a 67-60 lead with 1:40 left in regulation. Illinois shot 43.1% from the field & 34.5% shooting from beyond the arc while holding Northwestern to shoot 38.7% from the field & 29.2% from beyond the arc. Leading the way for the Fighting Illini was Kofi Cockburn who had a double-double with 19 points, 15 rebounds, 1 assist, & 1 steal.
On the season, Illinois is averaging 76.6 ppg on 45.9% shooting from the field. The Fighting Illini is averaging 9.4 three-pointers per game on 36.6% shooting from beyond the arc. Offensively, Illinois has been led by Kofi Cockburn (21.5 ppg, 11.4 rpg), Alfonso Plummer (15.4 ppg, 2.5 rpg, 1.1 apg), Trent Frazier (12.5 ppg, 2.9 rpg, 4.0 apg, 1.3 spg), & Jacob Grandison (10.1 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 2.3 apg).
Defensively, Illinois is holding their opponents to an average of 66.2 ppg on 40.1% shooting from the field. The Fighting Illini have a rebound margin of 8.5 and a turnover margin of -2.3.
The Rutgers Scarlet Knights won their 3rd straight game and improved to 15-9 on the season after defeating the 14th ranked Wisconsin Badgers, 73-65, this past Saturday. Rutgers was outstanding on the offensive end against Wisconsin and was able to pull away later after closing out the final 4:49 of regulation on a 14-5 run. Rutgers shot 51.0% from the field & 58.3% from beyond the arc while allowing Wisconsin to shoot 47.3% from the field & 21.1% from beyond the arc. Leading the way for the Scarlet Knights was Ron Harper Jr. who had 21 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists, & 1 block.
On the season, Rutgers is averaging 68.4 ppg on 43.8% shooting from the field. The Scarlet Knights are averaging 6.3 three-pointers per game on 34.2% shooting from beyond the arc. Offensively, Rutgers has been led by Ron Harper Jr. (15.7 ppg, 6.1 rpg, 1.8 apg, 1.2 spg), Geo Baker (12.5 ppg, 2.3 rpg, 4.1 apg, 1.1 spg), Clifford Omoruyi (11.4 ppg, 7.9 rpg, 1.3 bpg), & Paul Mulcahy (8.9 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 5.4 apg, 1.3 spg).
Defensively, Rutgers is holding their opponents to an average of 64.8 ppg on 41.0% shooting from the field. The Scarlet Knights have a rebound margin of 2.0 and a turnover margin of 0.9.
The Fighting Illini are 2-6 ATS in their last 8 games & 2-4 ATS in their last 6 games vs. Rutgers. The Scarlet Knights are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games & 8-6 ATS in their past 14 home games.
Illinois has won 5 of their last 6 games, however, despite a recent win at Indiana, this is still a team that has recently lost by double-digits on the road against Maryland & Purdue and has struggled winning the turnover battle as the Fighting Illini come into this game ranked just 314th in turnover margin. Rutgers had no answers against Illinois earlier this season in an 86-51 loss, however, the Scarlet Knights have been outstanding at home this season, posting a 12-2 record with wins over Purdue, Michigan, Michigan State & Ohio State, and as I think their defense, which ranks 62nd in scoring defense & 64th in defensive FG%, will keep this game close, I’m taking Rutgers and the points.