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Northwestern vs. Illinois - 01/06/2019 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Illinois at Northwestern
Date & Time Sunday January 6, 2019, 1:00 PM (EST)
Welsh-Ryan Arena
Evanston, IL
The Line
Northwestern Wildcats -8 -- Over/Under: 137.5
TV Channel
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Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports

The Illinois Fighting Illini and the Northwestern Wildcats meet in Big Ten conference college basketball action from the Welsh-Ryan Arena on Sunday afternoon.

The Illinois Fighting Illini will look to bounce back and snap a 3-game losing streak after a 73-65 loss to Indiana in their last outing. Ayo Dosunmu led the Illini with 20 points on 7 of 12 shooting with 4 threes while Giorgi Bezhanishvili added 17 points on 8 of 10 shooting with a team-high 7 rebounds and Trent Frazier added 11 points with a team-high 6 assists to round out the trio of double-digit scorers for the Illini in the losing effort. Frazier leads the Fighting Illini with an average of 15.5 points and 3.2 assists per game while Aaron Jordan leads Illinois in rebounding with 5.2 rebounds per game this season. As a team, Illinois is averaging 73.9 points per game on 42.6% shooting from the field, 35.5% from behind the arc and 67.2% from the foul line this season.

The Northwestern Wildcats will look to bounce back from an 81-55 rout at the hands of Michigan State in their last outing. Dererk Pardon led the Wildcats with 19 points on 9 of 15 shooting as the lone double-digit scorer for Northwestern in the losing effort. Vic Law had 5 points and a team-high 4 assists while Barret Benson matched his 7 points with a team-high 7 rebounds in the loss. Law leads Northwestern in scoring with 17.9 points per game while Pardon leads the Wildcats on the glass with 8.4 rebounds per game and A.J. Turner leads the Wildcats in assists with 3.2 assists per game this season. As a team, Northwestern is scoring 72.2 points per game on 43.4% shooting from the field, 33.4% from behind the arc and 72.3% from the foul line this season.

Illinois is 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games against a team with a winning record and 3-8 ATS in their last 11 games overall while the under is 59-25 in their last 84 road games. Northwestern is 3-1-1 ATS in their last 5 home games and 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games against a team with a losing record while the under is 5-2-1 in their last 8 games overall. Illinois is 6-0 ATS in the last 6 meetings between these two teams and 4-0 ATS in the last 4 meetings between these two teams at Northwestern.

I’m usually the first person to fade the Illini as Illinois is back to looking lost and like they’re going to finish close to the basement of the Big Ten standings this season. However, while Illinois is 0-3 SU on the road this season, the Illini are 2-1 ATS away from home, with losses to Indiana and Notre Dame by eight and two points respectively. Northwestern is solid at home, but the Wildcats have struggled with consistency and aren’t the type of team to usually blow their opponent out when the opposition is at or around the same talent level as seen in a 7-point win over DePaul and a 6-point win over Georgia Tech. The Illini have also had Northwestern’s number both overall and on the road, so I’ll take a shot with the points and Illinois here as I see this game being a close one in the end.

Illinois +8

Chris has been a sports fan from when he was old enough to pick up a basketball and was a standout offensive lineman throughout high school and college. Chris uses that same instinct, determination and drive to analyze trends and statistics to find and produce winners on a consistent basis. Chris has been writing for Sports Chat Place since 2016 and covers a wide array of sports from college and pro football, college basketball, hockey and baseball.

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