Northwestern vs. Illinois Prediction
Which struggling Big Ten team will start off their conference tournament with a win when Illinois meets Northwestern tonight at 9PM ET?
649 Northwestern vs. 650 Illinois
Wednesday, March 13, 2019
9PM ET – United Center
TV: Big Ten Network
Compare odds and from multiple different online sportsbooks and shop for the best lines at our new College Basketball Odds & Betting Page.
Public Betting Trends
According to oddsmakers at BetNow.eu, Illinois is the slight favorite in this game, as the Illini are getting odds of -2 points against Northwestern. The over/under total for the contest is listed at 136.5 points. The public betting currently has 83 percent going on Illinois as the favorite. This information is subject to change, however, so be sure to check out our College Basketball Public Betting Page for updated figures on the game.
Wildcats struggle on offense
Northwestern is the 14 seed in the tournament this weekend. The Wildcats are coming off a 70-57 loss at home to Purdue and they are just 1-6-1 against the spread in their last eight games. Northwestern is 13-18 on the season, 4-16 in Big Ten play, 2-1 on a neutral floor, 12-17-2 against the spread and 19-11-1 with the under.
The Wildcats have one of the worst offenses in the country, scoring just 65.8 points per game this season while shooting only 40.5 percent as a team. Defensively, Northwestern is giving up just 6.48 points per game while holding opponents to 41.9 percent shooting. Vic Law has been leading the team with 15.0 points and 6.4 rebounds per game, but is dealing with a shin injury. He is still expected to play tonight. Ryan Taylor, who is dealing with an illness, is questionable tonight. He averages 10 points per game.
Illini on a slide
Illinois is the 11 seed in this week’s tournament, but the Illini have dropped five of their last six games coming into the weekend. Illinois is 11-20 on the season, 7-13 in Big Ten games, 1-5 on a neutral floor, 13-18 against the spread and 16-14-1 with the over.
The Illini are putting up 73 points per game on offense this season while shooting 42.8 percent as a team. Defensively, Illinois is giving up 75.2 points per game while opponents are shooting 46.6 percent against them. Ayo Dosunmu is leading the team with 14.1 points per game while Trent Frazier is adding 13.6 points per contest.
College Basketball Betting Trends
Northwestern is 7-19-1 against the spread in their last 27 games against Big Ten teams and 0-6 ATS in their last six games following a double-digit loss at home.
Illinois is 1-4 against the spread in its last five Big Ten teams and 1-4 ATS in their last five on a neutral site.
These two actually split the two meetings this season, with the home team winning in both games. However, Illinois has covered the spread in eight straight against the Wildcats and that is too hard to ignore. Both teams should have an influx of fan support in Chicago, so I don’t see that being an advantage for either team. Illinois has a poor defense, but Northwestern doesn’t have enough offense to capitalize on that.
College Basketball Prediction: Illinois -2