Offense meets defense when the Illinois Fighting Illini (9-5, 1-2 Big 10) welcome the Purdue Boilermakers (9-5, 2-1 Big 10) to State Farm Center. The game gets underway at 8 p.m. ET on Sunday, January 5, 2020.
Purdue Boilermakers at Illinois Fighting Illini ATS Prediction
In the Boilermakers’ last outing, they topped the Minnesota Golden Gophers, 83-78. The Boilermakers held the Golden Gophers to an effective field goal percentage of 0.426 (below their season average of 0.522) and had a better turnover percentage (16.1 vs. 17.9). Purdue rallied around Matt Haarms, who led the team in scoring with 26 points on 11-for-16 shooting.
The Fighting Illini lost big to the No. 14 Michigan State Spartans in their last matchup, 76-56. Michigan State’s free throw rate was their largest strength over Illinois. The Spartans had a rate of 0.283 (above their season average of 0.272), while the Fighting Illini posted a mark of 0.120 (below their season average of 0.293). With 17 points and nine rebounds, Alan Griffin had a solid game for Illinois.
After the Boilermakers won the only game against the Fighting Illini last season, 73-56, these teams will go head-to-head for the first time this year. The Boilermakers had a much better free throw rate (0.286 vs. 0.131) and had a much better effective field goal percentage (0.602 vs. 0.393).
The game should be a battle of strength against strength as the productive offense of Illinois (49th in the nation with an offensive efficiency of 110.6) takes on the elite defense of Purdue (26th in the country with a defensive efficiency of 88.1). Moreover, the Boilermakers, who rank 25th in offensive rebounding percentage (35.7 percent), will face a tough test against the Fighting Illini, who rank 56th in defensive rebounding percentage (75.6 percent).
Purdue Boilermakers vs. Illinois Fighting Illini Pick
Pick: ATS Winner – Illinois, O/U – Under
Purdue ranks 101st in three pointers attempted per game (23.7) while Illinois ranks 242nd (17.9).
The Boilermakers rank 35th in steals allowed per game (5.4) while the Fighting Illini rank 135th (7.1).
Illinois ranks 16th in rebounds per game (41.7) while Purdue ranks 72nd (38.4).
The Boilermakers rank 47th in assists per game (15.3) while the Fighting Illini rank 103rd in assists allowed per game (12.2).
The Boilermakers’ average margin of victory in their last five games has been 7.0, down from 11.6 for the season.
During their last five games, the Fighting Illini have scored an average of 69.4 points per game (9.3 below their season average) and allowed an average of 64.0 points per game (2.9 below their season average).