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NCAAB Friday December 22nd Illinois vs Missouri Betting Preview

Mizzu Tries to Build on Last Year's Blowout Win in Braggin' Rights Game

It’s another year and another Braggin’ Rights Game where the Fighting Illini are favored over rival Mizzu. Brad Underwood and his #13 ranked club hope the December 22nd Illinois vs Missouri betting matchup has a different result as the U of I has lost four of the last five in this rivalry matchup held in St. Louis.

Illinois (8-2) draws a -6.5 line in the 2023 Braggin’ Rights game (9:00 PM ET, FS1), but Missouri (7-4) should have confidence after last season’s 93-71 shellacking by the Tigers with the exact same line. Mizzu was up by as many 35 points in that blowout vs. then #16 ranked Illini, but public betting is still split nearly 50/50 for Friday night’s contest.

Why Missouri Has Value at +6.5

Illinois has started off the 2023/24 season great as they have risen up to #13 in the nation, but this is truly a game where you throw out the records when the two combatants get together. the Illini have been favored in four straight meetings with Mizzu, but are just 1-3 over that span.

Last year’s game was particularly dominant for the Tigers, who took a 51-27 lead into the half before coasting to a 93-71 victory. The Fighting Illini hit just 7 of their 31 three point attempts (23%) while Missouri shot 59% from the field and 50% from the field – obviously creating a solid game plan against what was another solid Illinois defense.

Missouri comes into Friday night’s game battle tested, recently matching up with #2 Kansas in what ended up being a 73-64 loss but a contest in which the Tigers covered the +13 point spread. Sean East had 21 points vs. the Jayhawks as he continues a stellar season where he’s averaged 17.1 ppg.

Why Illinois Has Value at -6.5

The Fighting Illini are going to come into this contest angry after the embarrassing rivalry loss last season. That’s especially true since a couple key figures are back for the rematch, led by 5th year Sr. Terrence Shannon, Jr. and 4th year Jr. Coleman Hawkins.

Why Illinois returns some key cogs from last year’s team, Missouri lost Kobe Brown to the NBA draft where he was taken by the Clippers at #30. Brown dropped 31 points in last season’s contest, while D’Moi Hodge had 20 – but he’s also gone pro, currently on a 2-way contract with the Lakers.

Shannon, Jr. is averaging 20.9 ppg for the Fighting Illini this season, and he’ll be the best player in this game who could easily take over the way Brown did for the Tigers in last year’s meeting. Illinois’ losses this season have come against then #4 Marquette and then #17 Tennessee, while Mizzu has tanked some winnable games such as in the 73-72 defeat to Jacksonville State as -22 point favorites as well as defeats to Seton Hall and Memphis when the Tigers were the favorites.

Free December 22nd Illinois vs Missouri Betting Pick

The betting public is split nearly right down the middle here, but for some reason the Fighting Illini have struggled recently in this rivalry matchup even while they’ve often had the better team. Nobody saw last year’s Tigers beating coming – and although they have lost a lot of talent from that squad the +6.5 points is still too much for Illinois to be giving.

Free Pick: Missouri +6.5


Carl Taylor

Every loss is a chance to learn a lesson. That being said, wins are so much more enjoyable. Follow along to tap into the wisdom I've learned from 20 years as a sports bettor. Follow along on Twitter for more picks and DFS news @dailydogsports.

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