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NCAAB Saturday February 18th Illinois at #14 Indiana Betting Preivew

Hoosiers Aim For Season Sweep

The Hoosiers are up to #14 in the Top 25 heading into Saturday’s Illinois at Indiana betting preview. Indiana (18-8) needs an impressive win over the Fighting Illini to stay in the top 15 though after suffering a hard fought 64-62 loss to Northwestern this week in Evanston as -2 point favorites.

Illinois (17-8) could use another win over a top 15 team to improve their tournament resume. The Fighting Illini showed no defense in Tuesday’s 93-81 loss at Penn State in a game where Illinois was a -3.5 favorite. The Hoosiers are up to -5.5 for Saturday’s meeting with 60% of the public giving the points.

Why Illinois Can Cover +5.5

The Fighting Illini are one of those Big Ten enigma teams that on any given night they can beat – or lose – to anybody up and down the conference. Sure Indiana is #14 in the country, but Illinois is also just one game back from the Hoosiers in the win column both overall (17-8) and in the Big Ten (8-6).

Numbers wise Illinois and Indiana match up very similarly. The Hoosiers are 2nd in the Big Ten in scoring (76.0) while Illinois is 3rd (75.2) and the teams also rank 8th and 7th respectively in scoring defense. Indiana is a bit more efficient on both ends of the court however.

The Fighting Illini have lost two of their last three but on the bright side they have averaged 80 ppg in those two defeats. Terrence Shannon, Jr. had 20 points in Tuesday’s loss at Penn State and Matthew Mayer went for 21 in the February 4th defeat at Iowa.

Why Indiana Can Cover -5.5 Points

The Illinois at Indiana betting contest might just be a good matchup for the Hoosiers. IU knocked the Fighting Illini out of the Big Ten tournament last March and then went into Champaign on January 19th of this year and handed out an 80-65 beatdown on the road as +6.5 underdogs.

Like many teams across the college basketball landscape, Illinois has had no answer for Indiana’s Trayce Jackson-Davis. The Hoosiers forward had 21 of the teams 65 points in the Big Ten Tournament win over the Illini last season and then went for 35 points in the first meeting this season.

A team that isn’t a great matchup for Indiana has been Northwestern, who snapped the Hoosiers three game win streak this week in a 64-62 victory. It was the Wildcats who have also given Indiana their lone home loss this season (13-1) with an 84-83 win in early January.

Free Illinois at Indiana Betting Pick

Even in the loss to Northwestern this week Jackson-Davis had 23 points, 10 rebounds, and 8 assists and now he gets an Illinois team that has allowed 87 ppg their last two Big Ten road contests.

What you’re going to see on Saturday though is an angry Illinois team that is tired of getting beat up by the Hoosiers, last year in the conference tournament and this season in a blowout at home. Expect this back-and-forth battle to be fast paced, and close and in the process go ‘over’ the total.

Free Pick: Over 142.5

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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