College Basketball Picks

Illinois vs Minnesota Prediction Basketball Picks 2-28-24

Minnesota Golden Gophers (17-10) vs. Illinois Fighting Illini (20-7)
February 28, 2024 9:00 pm EDT
The Line: Illinois Fighting Illini -10.5; Over/Under: 158
(Get latest betting odds)

The Minnesota Golden Gophers and the Illinois Fighting Illini meet Wednesday in college basketball action from State Farm Center. Minnesota sits at 17-10 so far after a loss to Nebraska over the weekend. As for Illinois, they’re coming off a win over Iowa that moved the Illini to 20-7 overall. Let’s get into our Minnesota vs. Illinois prediction. Check back all season long for free college basketball picks at Sports Chat Place.

Minnesota Golden Gophers

The Gophers managed a spotty 12-7 run over their first 19 games of the season, but then hit a win streak over Penn State, Northwestern and Michigan State entering February. Minnesota is 2-3 in their last five though, falling to Iowa, Purdue and Nebraska with wins over Rutgers and Ohio State otherwise.

In the Nebraska matchup on Sunday, the Gophers weren’t able to hang around for very long. Minnesota came out of the locker room with a 28-20 deficit, then hit a 45-35 run the rest of the way in a 73-55 defeat. Tops in scoring was Cam Christie with 14 points and four rebounds in 35 minutes of work.

Illinois Fighting Illini

Over on the Illinois side, they lost just five of their first 22 outings versus Marquette, Tennessee, Purdue, Maryland and Northwestern. The Illini are 3-2 since then with losses to Michigan State and Penn State. The wins otherwise came courtesy of Michigan, Maryland and Iowa.

Matched up against Iowa over the weekend, the Fighting Illini held a slim 44-43 edge by the break. Illinois was able to break away in the second however, hitting a 51-42 run for a 95-85 victory. Coleman Hawkins topped the team on his 30 points with five assists and five steals in the win.


I’ll stick with Illinois. The Illini started a bit slowly versus Iowa in their latest outing but everything worked out well in the end. Illinois hit 49.2 percent from the field in that one with a 38-32 rebounding edge, but did allow a fairly stout 47.6 percent shooting on the other side. Still, it’s been a great scoring run for the Illini lately; they’ve hit 80 or more points in seven straight outings.

As for Minnesota, they posted something of a scoring dud (55 points) against Nebraska in their last game. That effort comes on the heels of 76 or more points in four straight games—a 2-2 stretch for the Gophers. If Minnesota were playing at home in this matchup I’d be more inclined to take them on a cover. At State Farm Center however, I think Illinois controls this one.

Andrew's Free Pick: Illinois Fighting Illini -10.5

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Andrew has been writing about college, professional and fantasy sports betting since 2013. Andrew's goal is to break down the complicated numbers and trends into a language that's easily accessible to novice sports bettors and seasoned professionals alike.

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