A couple of contrasting styles meet up in the December 26th, NCAAB Indiana at Illinois pick. The Fighting Illini are on a scoring kick right now, putting up 88+ points in three straight games, and ranking 15th in the nation with 89.3 ppg. Indiana on the other will look to slow the tempo, and have scored less than 70 points in three of their last four.
Illinois is a -6.5 favorite at the State Farm Center, where they are 4-0 on the season. The Hoosiers have lost their only true road game this year, 69-67 at Florida State as part of the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. Indiana has won three of the last four head to head meetings in this series, and have covered in 15 of the last 21 vs. Illinois.
Indiana Very Sloppy Lately
The Hoosiers got a big win over Butler at Hinkle Fieldhouse in a state rivalry game last weekend, but could build momentum when dropping their Big Ten opener 74-67 at home against Northwestern on Wednesday. Sloppy play doomed Archie Miller’s team, who committed 16 turnovers in a home game.
How is IU going to respond in the NCAAB Indiana at Illinois pick? It’s not hard to envision the Hoosiers coming out very flat in this one, having to play a Saturday afternoon game on the day after Christmas with no fans in attendance? If Indiana continues to turn the ball over, Illinois will run away with this one as they rank 11th in the country in offensive efficiency.
The Hoosiers do have some talent to hang with Illinois’ high powered offense. Trayce Jackson-Davis has put up 20+ points in four of the last five, and shot a sparkling 9-12 from the field vs. Northwestern. Armaan Franklin has also shown improvement, with 16+ points in three straight.
Big Number for Illinois to Cover
Illinois was able to snap a 3-game skid against Indiana by holding on for a 67-66 win last year in Champaign but as -5.5 favorites. The Hoosiers won the rebounding battle 39-31, something they will aim to do again vs. the Fighting Illini’s #1 ranked squad in rebound rate.
Miller drew up a game plan to control Illinois’ Ayo Dosunmu, who had just 17 points on 6-15 shooting. Kofi Cockburn had 15 points but just 5 rebounds for the Fighting Illini in last year’s matchup. Indiana being effective against that dynamic duo is going to be tough in this season’s meeting, as both are playing at an extremely high level.
Illinois bounced back from a 91-88 loss at Rutgers as -1.5 road favorites to pound Penn State 98-81 on Wednesday, powered by 30 points from Dosunmu and 23 from Cockburn. Dosunmu has eclipsed 30+ twice in his last four, and Cockburn is shooting 73% from the field his last four, averaging 23/9 over that span.
Free NCAAB Indiana at Illinois Pick
The side is a tough one to call here, as Indiana plays Illinois extremely well but could also very easily come out flat and lost by 20. Instead, with some very prolific scorers on the floor and the Fighting Illini pushing the pace as of late, the total of 148 seems on the low side.
Illinois 81 – Indiana 71
Free Pick: Over 148