It’s been a down year for new Illinois coach Brad Underwood as his team has stumbled out of the gate in Big Ten play, Illinois is the only team in the Big Ten without a conference win thus far, entrenched in last place with an 0-8 record. The Fighting Illini can at least find some saving grace with a win over Indiana in the 1/24 college basketball free pick. The Hoosiers helped their cause a bit with a big victory over Maryland on Monday, but they’ll look to avoid continued struggles on the road where they are just 1-5 on the season.
Indiana has its 3rd game in 6 days against Illinois tonight. Illinois is the only Big Ten team that has yet to win a conference game. KenPom projects an Indiana loss by 3. Tip-off is set for 9pm EST at the State Farm Center. #iubb pic.twitter.com/4fbKuAbmXo
— Amanda Pavelka (@amandapavelka3) January 24, 2018
Will Morgan Dominate Again?
Indiana F Juwan Morgan was supposed to be out for the game against Maryland with an ankle injury. Not only did he play, he dominated with 25 points to lead IU to the 71-68 win as -1.5 favorites. Morgan did tweak his ankle a bit in that game and the Hoosiers have to play this game with just one night of rest (as does Illinois). Can the star’s body hold up to the rigors of an away tilt in the 1/24 college basketball free pick?
Not only is Indiana taking to the road on short rest, they’ve been especially bad away from Bloomington this season. The Hoosiers have exactly ONE road win this season – a 75-71 win in Minnesota as +8 underdogs. IU has had some bad road losses too, but also to tough competition. Those include 68-84 against Seton Hall, 55-69 at Michigan, 61-71 at Wisconsin, and 57-85 at Michigan State. Overall the Hoosiers have been solid lately, winning six of their last eight games. They just need to find out how to show up on the road.
Has Illinois Given Up On the Season?
There’s not much fight in the Illini lately having dropped six straight games shortly after a big win over Missouri in the Braggin’ Rights game. Four of those losses were on the road however, and Illinois boasts a solid 9-3 home record on the season. Don’t look too much into those home results though because the Illini were either double digit favorites or there was no spread available in eight of those victories meaning the competition wasn’t that impressive.
It’s hard to pinpoint why the Illini have done so poorly on the year. Illinois does rotate players 10 deep which could be a huge advantage in the 1/24 college basketball free pick as Indiana’s two main players – Morgan and Robert Johnson – both played over 35 minutes in the win over Maryland two days ago. Illinois has held six of the last 10 opponents to under 75 points while Indiana has failed to break 70 in three of the last six. This game could go ‘under’ the total of 144 as the Illini haven’t broke 70 on offense in 7 of the last 9.
— Donnie Tillman (@dtwics) January 24, 2018
1/24 College Basketball Free Pick – Betting
The line on this contest is a bit strange as it opened at Illinois -1 but is now up to ILL -2.5. Sure the Hoosiers may be fatigued but bettors are still split almost right down the middle. The Hoosiers are 4-0 ATS the last four matchups with Illinois and are 3-0-1 the last four in Champaign. Illinois is 1-4 ATS their last five home games and 1-4-1 ATS their last six against the Big Ten. Indiana meanwhile is 4-1 ATS their last 5 vs Big Ten opponents. It’s possible Illinois gets off the schnide on Wednesday, but the numbers say otherwise.
Pick: Indiana Hoosiers +2.5