It is the first-round matchup for the Illinois Fighting Illini when they take on the Rutgers Scarlet Knights. Get the latest odds and information for this contest at PointsBet Sportsbook.
Rutgers Ousts Hoosiers
The Rutgers Scarlet Knights (14-10, 10-10 in the Big Ten) opened up the conference tournament with a surprising 61-50 victory over Indiana. It was a pair of players scoring double-doubles that led the way. Myles Johnson grabbed 13 rebounds and scored 10 points and Ron Harper scored 13 points and added 11 rebounds to lead the way. Two other players scored in double digits.
Rutgers is shooting 45.2% from the field and 31.6% from the three-point range. The Scarlet Knights are averaging 70.0 ppg while allowing 67.4 points per contest. They are averaging 36.0 rebounds per game while allowing 36.2 per contest.
Harper is having an outstanding season, averaging 15.2 points and 6.1 rebounds per game. He is shooting 45.3% from the field, but only 32.3% from the three-point range. Jacob Young is second in scoring at 14.4 points per contest.
Cavaliers Defense Leads the Way
The Illinois Fighting Illini 20-6, 16-4 in the Big Ten) finished second in the conference during the regular season. This will be their first game in the conference tournament. They closed out the season with four straight victories, including back-to-back wins over No. 4 Michigan and No. 9 Ohio State.
The Fighting Illini are one of the best offensive teams in the country, averaging 80.7 ppg while allowing 68.5 points per contest. They are shooting 50% from the field, seventh overall, and 38.2% from the three-point range, 21st in the nation. Illinois is an outstanding rebounding team as well, averaging 40.2 rebounds per game, 13th in the country.
Ayo Dosuunmu is having a monster season, averaging 20.9 points, 6.2 rebounds, and 5.2 assists per game. Kofi Cockburn is second on the team in scoring at 17.3 ppg and he is the leading rebounder at 9.6 per contest. Cockburn is shooting 66.0% from the field.
- 2-6 ATS in their last eight games on Friday.
- 2-5 ATS in their last seven games against teams with a winning percentage greater than 60%.
- 4-0 ATS in their last four games.
- 7-1 ATS in their last eight games against teams with a winning record.
It has been a nice run for Rutgers. They defeated Indiana to advance to the second round and have to feel pretty good about themselves. However, they are facing what is arguably the best team in the country. Illinois is a scoring machine, and they play extremely well in their own end of the court. The poor Scarlet Knights simply stand no chance in this game.
Pick: Take Illinois -7.5 at -110
Illinois has had an extra day off and they come into the tournament flying high. I look for them to continue to shoot and look for baskets as they want to maintain as much rhythm as possible heading into the semifinals on Saturday. Rutgers is not a great scoring team, but they can hold their own. They can come up with at least 60 points in this game to make the over of reality.
Take Illinois to win, 84-65.
Pick: Go over 137.0 points at -110