The Minnesota Golden Gophers will finally get their shot at revenge against the No. 5 Illinois Fighting Illini, who defeated them back in December in a lopsided fashion. Will the Golden Gophers play with more fire this time around? Or will Illinois score another victory at the expense of the Golden Gophers – again? Check out our preview of this game below.
Betting Preview for the Illinois Fighting Illini vs Minnesota Golden Gophers NCAA College Basketball Game on February 20 2021
Where: Williams Arena, Minneapolis, MN
When: Saturday, February 20, 2021, 8:00 PM ET
Betting on the Illinois Fighting Illini (odds)
Record: 14-5 Overall / 10-3 Conference
Illinois fans were put on a rollercoaster of emotions in the Fighting Illini’s last two games. Illinois avoided an embarrassing defeat versus the Nebraska Cornhuskers, as the Fighting Illini pulled through in overtime to nail a 77-72 road win on Feb. 12. Then Illinois extended its winning streak to eight games by squeaking by the Northwestern Wildcats on Feb. 16 at home, 73-66. Illinois failed to cover the spread in both games, though the Fighting Illini is 6-4 against the spread in their last 10 games overall. They also beat the spread in their landslide 92-65 home win over Minnesota last December as 8.5-point favorites. The Golden Gophers had no answer to Illinois big man Kofi Cockburn who had 33 points and 13 rebounds in that game, while Ayo Dosunmo had 10 points, seven rebounds, and five assists.
Illinois, which is 12th nationally with 81.2 points per game, is 4-0 and 3-1 against the spread in its last four contests on the road.
Betting on the Minnesota Golden Gophers (odds)
Record: 13-8 Overall / 6-8 Conference
Minnesota took a 72-59 loss at the hands of the Maryland Terrapins on the road last Sunday, as they shot a not-so-lovely 32.2 percent from the field and 8 of 28 from behind the arc. That must be frustrating for a team which is 37th in the nation in adjusted offensive efficiency rating with 112.3 points per 100 possessions and 75.0 points per game. This time around, the Golden Gophers need to provide Marcus Carr with ample scoring support. Carr, who leads the Golden Gophers with 19.4 points per game, had 16 points in the loss to Illinois, but none of his teammates scored more than 10 points. Defensively, Minnesota is 27th in the nation with 4.7 blocks per game and 55th with 95.2 points allowed per 100 possessions.
Minnesota, which plays the Indiana Hoosiers in Bloomington this Wednesday, is 7-2-1 against the spread in its last 10 home games.
Illinois wins, 78-73.
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