Offense meets defense when the Illinois Fighting Illini (9-4, 1-1 Big 10) visit Michigan State to take on the No. 14 Spartans (10-3, 2-0 Big 10). The game begins at 8 p.m. ET on Thursday, January 2, 2020.
Illinois Fighting Illini at Michigan State Spartans Free Prediction
In the Fighting Illini’s last game, they thoroughly outplayed the North Carolina A&T Aggies, 95-64. The Fighting Illini had a turnover percentage of 10.5 (better than their season average of 18.4) and held the Aggies to an offensive rebounding percentage of 19.4 (below their season average of 26.9). With 26 points on 11-for-16 shooting, Kofi Cockburn was the top scorer from either team.
The Spartans dismantled the Western Michigan Broncos in their last matchup, 95-62. The Spartans knocked down 21 of their 26 free throws (80.8 percent) and had an offensive rebounding percentage of 51.5 (above their season average of 34.6). With 15 points and 11 rebounds, Xavier Tillman put together a good game for Michigan State.
After the Fighting Illini won the only contest against the Spartans last season, 79-74, this will be the first matchup of the year between these two teams. Illinois had a much better turnover percentage (17.1 vs. 30.8). Michigan State, on the other hand, did a terrific job of making free throws (23-25; 92.0 percent).
It might turn into a shootout as a pair of the nation’s premier offenses face off. Michigan State ranks sixth with 115.4 points per 100 possessions and Illinois is 29th (112.9). Moreover, the Fighting Illini, who rank third in offensive rebounding percentage (40.1 percent), will face a tough test against the Spartans, who rank 38th in defensive rebounding percentage (76.5 percent).
Illinois Fighting Illini at Michigan State Spartans Pick
Free Prediction: ATS Winner – Michigan State, O/U – Over
Michigan State ranks 110th in three pointers attempted per game (23.2) while Illinois ranks 263rd (17.2).
The Spartans rank 29th in blocks per game (4.8) while the Fighting Illini rank 115th (3.0).
Michigan State ranks first in assists per game (20.0) while Illinois ranks 78th in assists allowed per game (11.6).
The Fighting Illini are fourth in the country with 28.7 rebounds allowed per game while the Spartans are 35th with 31.4 rebounds allowed per game.
The Fighting Illini’s average margin of victory in their last five games has been 9.2, down from 14.2 for the season.
During their last five games, the Spartans have scored an average of 84.4 points per game (2.6 above their season average) and allowed an average of 59.2 points per game (5.1 below their season average).