Minnesota at Illinois
|Date & Time||Wednesday January 16, 2019, 9:00 PM (EST)|
State Farm Center
Minnesota Golden Gophers -1 -- Over/Under: 144.5
The Minnesota Golden Gophers and the Illinois Fighting Illini meet in Big Ten college hoops action from the State Farm Center on Wednesday night.
The Minnesota Golden Gophers will look to build some steam after picking up an 88-70 win over Rutgers in their last outing. Amir Coffey led the Gophers with 29 points on 10 of 14 shooting with an 8 of 10 mark from the foul line and 4 assists while Jordan Murphy and Dupree McBrayer each had 15 points for a double-double. Murphy went just 3 of 12 from the floor but hit 9 of 11 free throws while adding a game-high 14 rebounds, a pair of steals and a pair of blocks while McBrayer dished out a game-high 10 assists. Gabe Kalscheur added 3 threes as part of his 11-point performance to finish off the scoring in double figures for Minnesota in the win while Daniel Oturu added 8 points and a pair of blocks as well in the victory. Coffey leads Minnesota in scoring with 16.4 points per game while Murphy leads the Gophers in rebounding by averaging a double-double per game with 14.6 points to go along with his team-leading 12.1 rebounds per game and Isaiah Washington is the Golden Gophers’ leading assist man with 3.9 assists per game this season. As a team, Minnesota is averaging 75.3 points per game on 44.2% shooting from the field, 32.5% from behind the arc and 66.7% from the foul line this season.
The Illinois Fighting Illini will be out to snap a 5-game losing streak after a 79-69 loss to Michigan in their last outing. Ayo Dosunmu led the Illini with 23 points on 10 of 16 shooting with a pair of threes and a team-high 7 rebounds while Giorgi Bezhanishvili added 15 points on 6 of 11 shooting and Trent Frazier added 13 points on 5 of 10 shooting with 3 threes to finish off the trio of double-digit scorers for Illinois in the loss. Kipper Nichols added 9 points with a team-high 4 assists as well in the losing effort. Frazier leads Illinois with an average of 14.7 points and 3.1 assists per game while Bezhanishvili leads the Fighting Illini in rebounding with 4.8 boards per game this season. As a team, Illinois is averaging 73.1 points per game on 42.7% shooting from the field, 34.7% from behind the arc and 68.4% from the foul line this season.
Minnesota is 6-20 ATS in their last 26 games against a team with a losing record and 6-15 ATS in their last 21 conference games while the under is 6-0-1 in their last 7 road games. Illinois is 1-7 ATS in their last 8 home games and 4-9 ATS in their last 13 games overall while the under is 5-1 in their last 6 games against a team with a winning record. Minnesota is 9-20 ATS in the last 29 meetings between these two teams and 5-13 ATS in the last 18 meetings between these two teams at Illinois.
There’s something that just feels off about this line. Yes, the Golden Gophers have a tendency to play down to their opposition and haven’t had much luck against the Illini both overall and in Champaign over the years. However, Minnesota is simply the better team here and while the Illini have plenty of raw talent of their own, the pieces simply aren’t clicking together the way that they need to be. With this line being essentially a pick ‘em, I think that laying the point with Minnesota is the way to go as I just don’t see the Illini keeping up here.