The biggest game in the Big Ten this weekend takes place in Champaigne as the #9 Maryland Terrapins (18-4 overall 8-3 in the Big Ten) take on #20 Illinois Fighting Illini (16-6 overall 8-3 in the Big Ten) on Friday February 7, 2020. This game is for the outright lead in the Big Ten standings so the stakes could not be higher.
Entering Thursday, Maryland sits atop the Big Ten, tied with Illinois, and it is as tight as can be at the top of the conference. The Terrapins would be a three seed in the East region, according to Joe Lunardi, if the NCAA Tournament started today.
Illinois also enter Thursday atop the Big Ten standings, but this five game stretch Illinois are at the beginning of will determine the Fighting Illini season. The Fighting Illini are a seven seed in the South region, with a date with #10 Stanford, according to Joe Lunardi’s latest Bracketology.
The Big Ten is very tight as Illinois and Maryland lead Michigan State (8-4), Penn State (7-4) and Rutgers (7-5) as the season hits the homestretch.
Below is my best bet for #9 Maryland at #20 Illinois. All odds are from Bet MGM.
#9 Maryland Terrapins at #20 Illinois Fighting Illini (-1): O/U 132.5 (-115/-105)
The Maryland Terrapins won their fifth straight game after coming behind and beating Rutgers 56-51 a few days ago. Rutgers led by as much as seven, late in the first half, but a 10 point second half advantage gave the Terrapins the big win. Maryland has won eight of their last 10 and seem like a dangerous team right now. The Terrapins are just 2-4 on the road this season, 12-10 against the spread and the under has hit in 13 of their 22 games this season.
Illinois suffered a tough road loss, in a game that was close throughout, to #18 Iowa last weekend as the Hawkeyes outscored Illinois by eight in the second half to come away with a 72-65 win. The loss snapped Illinoi’s seven game winning streak, but the Fighting Illini will still have plenty of confidence heading into this big Friday night match-up with Maryland. Illinois is a fantastic 12-1 at home this season, 11-9-1 against the spread and the under has hit in 13 of their 21 games with a total this season.
Series History: These two teams have met 16 times in the past and it is Maryland who lead the all-time series 10-6. The Terrapins have won five of the last six meetings between the two schools.
Prediction: Give me Illinois -1 at home.
YTD College Basketball Results: 2-2