Illinois vs. Michigan Pick
Is Michigan primed to be upset when it takes on Illinois today at Noon ET in the Big Ten Tournament?
According to oddsmakers at BetDSI, Michigan is favored in this game, as the Wolverines are getting odds of -4.5 points against Illinois. The over/under total for the contest is listed at 134.5 points. These two met twice during the season, with the home team winning and covering in both contests. These two meet today from the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C.
Michigan is the 8 seed in this tournament after going 20-11 overall on the season and 10-8 in the Big Ten. However, the Wolverines had a place scare in their travel on Friday and were unable to get into D.C. until this morning. Michigan comes into this game 12-16 against the spread on the season. The Wolverines average 74.6 points per game on offense while giving up just 65.7 on defense. At a neutral site, U-M has given up just 57.5 points per game. Derrick Walton Jr. is leading the team with 14.5 points and 4.5 assists per game while Zak Irvin and Moritz Wagner both average over 12 points per contest.
Illinois is coming off a 62-59 loss to Rutgers to end the regular season. The Illini are the ninth seed in this tournament with an 18-13 overall record and 8-10 mark in the Big Ten. Illinois is 13-15-1 against the spread on the season as well. The Illini average 71 points per game on offense while allowing 69.9 on defense. At a neutral site, the Illini are putting up just 66.4 points per game. Malcolm Hill is leading the team with 17.2 points and 5.4 rebounds per game while Maverick Morgan is adding 10.4 points per game.
This is tough, because Michigan has been playing pretty well as of late, but the travel issues concern me too much. Michigan has been a poor road team as is, so not arriving to D.C. until moments before the game isn’t going to help at a neutral court. Illinois did lose to Rutgers, but the Illini had won four straight prior to that. I think the travel issues cause Michigan to be flat and get upset today.
COLLEGE BASKETBALL DAILY PREDICTION: ILLINOIS +4.5