Northwestern Wildcats vs Illinois Fighting Illini — OB Expert Pick and Prediction, 2/21/2017

Northwestern Wildcats vs Illinois Fighting Illini

Tuesday February 21st, 8:00pm EST, Game Preview, NCAAB Spread Prediction and Odds

NCAAB Odds: Illinois +1.5

Northwestern Wildcats

(20–7, 15–9 ATS)

Head coach Chris Collins has a history of winning coming from the Duke and it appears he has brought the same culture to Northwestern. Northwestern enters this game with a 20–7 record which has put them in a good position to punch a ticket into the NCAA Tournament. However, Tuesdaynight’s matchup is a big game for this program considering the Illini beat Northwestern just 14 days ago at home.

Northwestern’s top scorer this season is Scottie Lindsey, with 15.0 PPG and 4.1 RPG. Also scoring double-digits for the Wildcats are Brant McIntosh (13.9 PPG; 5.6 APG) and Vic Law (13.2 PPG; 6.1 RPG).

Northwestern is not a high-scoring team, averaging 73 points per game, ranking them 199th overall. The Wildcats rely on their strong defense to win games, now allowing an average of 64.7 points per game, good for 37th.

Northwestern Betting Trends

  • Road team is 8–2 ATS in the last 10 meetings
  • Wildcats are 9–1–1 ATS in their last 11 games as a road favorite of 0.5–6.5
  • Wildcats are 4–1 ATS in their last 5 road games

Illinois Fighting Illini

(15–12, 10–14–1 ATS)

The Fighting Illini come into this game with a 15–12 record and sit in 11th place in the Big Ten conference. It’s been a disappointing season for the Illini but they are coming off a gritty win, rallying for 45 points in the second half in a 68–65 road win over Iowa this past weekend.

Illinois have now won two out of their last three games, but are just 3–7 over their last ten games.

The Fighting Illini average 73 points per game offensively while conceding an average of 71 points per game.

The Illini are 3–7 ATS in their last 10 games overall and 3–7 ATS in their last 10 versus the Big 10. Illinois is also 1–4 ATS in their last five home games and 5–15–2 ATS in their last 22 Tuesday games.

Illinois Betting Trends

  • Fighting Illini are 3–7 ATS in their last 10 games vs. a team with a winning straight up record
  • Fighting Illini are 2–5 ATS in their last 7 games as an underdog
  • Fighting Illini are 1–4 ATS in their last 5 home games

Northwestern vs Illinois FREE NCAAB Spread Pick

It’s tough to win on the road in college basketball, especially in conference play. However, I like Northwestern to win this game and cover the spread. Illinois has been up and down all season and they aren’t shooting the ball particularly well as of late. It won’t get any easier going up against a scrappy Wildcats defense. While Northwestern isn’t an offensive powerhouse, their defensive intensity will give them an edge in this matchup. Northwestern is a solid 5–3 on the road and they are fighting for a Tournament bid, so I expect them to pull out a road victory.

Pick: Northwestern Wildcats -1.5

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