The week has already been a success for the Illinois men’s basketball team but a win in the January 25th college basketball free betting pick would be the icing on the cake. The Fighting Illini scored a huge road win on Tuesday and thanks to a Michigan State loss to Indiana moved into a tie for 1st in the Big 10. MIchigan aims to defend their home court on Saturday as -4 point favorites.
Two Big Road Wins In a Week for Illini?
#22 Illinois made it look easy on Tuesday, dominating Purdue 79-62 as +6 point road underdogs. The Boilermakers were 8-1 at Mackey Arena prior to that loss so the victory was that much more impressive for Brad Underwood’s team.
Illinois comes into the January 25th college basketball free betting pick the winners of five in a row. Their season sweep over Purdue was the first time that had happened since 2008. Things don’t get any easier on Saturday though as the Fighting Illini haven’t won in Ann Arbor for almost a decade. Like Purdue, the Wolverines have been great at home going 8-2 on the year.
Regardless of going 0-6 their last six in Ann Arbor, there are some reasons to like Brad Underwood’s team in this one. First off they shot 55% from the field vs. a tough Boilermakers defense and had Kofi Cockburn, Trent Frazier, and Ayo Dosunmu all score 18+ points. The Wolverines have also dropped 4 of their last 5 and suffered their first home conference loss of the season on Wednesday, 63-72 -4.5 favorites.
Is the Wrong Team Favored on Saturday Afternoon?
Michigan is at home in the January 25th college basketball free pick and it’s been tough to get a Big 10 road win. Well, it had been until Illinois won on the road in West Lafayette the past week while the Wolverines dropped a home contest to Penn State.
Despite location, there isn’t a whole lot going the Wolverines’ way heading into Saturday’s tilt. The teams have passed each other in the rankings with Michigan going the wrong way, falling out of the top 25 with a 1-4 record the last five.
Juwan Howard’s squad might not have a lot of confidence heading into this contest. The Wolverines shot just 5-28 from three point range (18%) in the loss to PSU. Michigan has also already been beaten by Illinois once this season, 71-62 in Champaign when the Illini were -1.5 home favorites. Cockburn had 19/10 while four Illini players scored more than a dozen. Michigan had 12 points from Isaiah Livers in that game – but he’s been sidelined (groin) since 12/21 and the Wolverines are just 2-4 over that span.
January 25th College Basketball Free Betting Pick
It doesn’t seem like a bad idea to take the points in this one considering Illinois would seemingly have a fighting chance at an outright win (+160). Only 41% of the public like the Illini on the road here – but that’s good. These two teams are trending in different directions, and Illinois has momentum after dominating at Mackey Arena last week. IU can take sole possession of 1st place in the Big 10 with a win, time to make it happen.
Pick: Fighting Illini +4