The Fighting Illini have alternated wins and losses over their last nine games heading into the January 10th Illinois at Nebraska betting matchup. That trend holding true wouldn’t be great for Illinois as they are coming off a 79-69 victory at home over Wisconsin on Saturday to cover the -7.5 spread.
Nebraska is a +3.5 home underdog on Tuesday night, and they’ve proven they can battle with the Big Ten’s best taking #3 Purdue to OT before a 65-62 loss on December 10th. Both of these teams struggle with consistency, and 60% of the betting public like the Cornhuskers getting the points here.
Illinois Aims for Consistency
The 10-5 Fighting Illini shot the ball well on Saturday against a good Wisconsin defense, hitting 10 of 19 three-pointers as they beat the Badgers by 10 points. Terrence Shannon, Jr. scored 24 points and Coleman Hawkins added 20 as Illinois finally got their first conference win.
Illinois needed the win over Wisconsin, as they hadn’t done well at passing big tests with a 74-59 loss to Penn State as -10 point favorites, falling by 22 to Missouri in the annual Braggin’ Rights battle, and falling 73-60 at Northwestern in another rivalry game. Of course the Fighting Illini have also beaten then #8 UCLA and then #2 Texas this season so it’s still all about the consistency.
Shannon scoring 24 against Wisconsin was a good sign, as he had been held under his 17.6 ppg average in four of the previous six games. The Fighting Illini are also getting some nice production from Matthew Mayer, who scored 16+ points in four of six prior to the Badgers game. If Hawkins can continue to produce as well that’s a scary trio for the Illini.
Cornhuskers Dangerous to Bet Against
Nebraska is just 6-10 ATS this season, showing bright spots in the OT loss at home to Purdue as a +7.5 underdog, winning in Creighton 63-53 in early December at +14, and dominating Iowa 66-50 back on December 29th at +4.5.
The Cornhuskers have also lost by 18 at Michigan State and 16 at Indiana this season but they are 6-1 at home and at 2-3 are ahead of Illinois in the conference standings. Nebraska is the second lowest scoring team in the Big Ten (68.1) but have some decent depth with six players scoring at least 9 points/game.
The Cornhuskers are coming off an 81-79 OT win over last place Minnesota as they head into the Illinois at Nebraska betting matchup. Derrick Walker had 22 points for his best game in a month, while Juwan Gary had a season high 18.
Free Illinois at Nebraska Betting Pick
The Fighting Illini have won five straight in the head to head series, but the last four have all had points spreads of Illinois favored by at least a dozen. The Fighting Illini haven’t won consecutive games since the end of November, but they got nice production from Hawkins and Shannon recently while Mayer has also been playing better recently.
To get Illinois at -3.5 in this matchup when they’ve been double digit favorites in the last four head to head games with Nebraska is a spot you have to take.
Free Pick: Illinois -3.5