Illinois vs. Boise State Pick
After a solid win in its NIT Tournament opener, can No. 2 Illinois repeat that tonight at 9PM ET when it takes on Boise State?
According to oddsmakers at BetDSI, Illinois is the clear favorite tonight, as the Illini are getting odds of -8.5 points against Boise State. The over/under total for the game is listed at 145.5 points. They will play tonight from State Farm Center in Champaign, Illinois.
After firing their head coach before the NIT began, Illinois responded with an impressive 82-57 thrashing of Valpo last week. The Illini are now 19-14 overall and 14-16-1 against the spread. They went 8-7-1 ATS at home this season and were 13-5 at home straight up. The Illini are averaging 70.8 points per game on offense this season while allowing 69.6 on defense. At home they put up 75.2 points per game on offense while giving up just 67.8. Malcolm Hill is leading the team with 17 points and 5.2 rebounds while Maverick Morgan adds 10.1 points and 4.5 rebounds per game.
Boise State picked up a 73-68 win at Utah to open its NIT Tournament last week. The Broncos are now 20-11 overall and 8-6 in road games. They have put up a 13-15-1 record against the spread while going 9-7-1 ATS away from home. Boise is averaging 75.4 points per game on offense this season while allowing 72 on defense. Chandler Hutchison is averaging 17.4 points and 7.8 rebounds per game to lead the team while Paris Austin is averaging 12.5 points per game.
While Illinois should feel good about itself after the win over Valpo, I don’t think the Illini can repeat that performance. Boise State already went to Utah and picked up a tough win and I think the Broncos can go to Illinois and put up a fight. Their offensive and defensive numbers don’t change much on the road and I don’t think Illinois can match the offensive intensity it showed against Valpo. Look for this game to be much closer.
NIT TOURNAMENT PREDICTION: BOISE STATE +8.5