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Illinois Fighting Illini vs Northwestern Wildcats Predictions, Picks, Odds, and NCAA Basketball Betting Preview – January 7 2021

Illinois Fighting Illini vs Northwestern Wildcats Predictions, Picks, Odds, and NCAA Basketball Betting Preview – January 7 2021

The No. 12 Illinois Fighting Illini will look to keep in step with the league-leading Michigan Wolverines when they take on the Northwestern Wildcats this coming Thursday. The Wildcats have lost their last two games, both against ranked opponents. A win over the Fighting Illini will be a big quadrant 1 win for Northwestern.

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Betting Preview for the Illinois Fighting Illini vs Northwestern Wildcats NCAA College Basketball Game on January 7 2021

Where: Welsh-Ryan Arena, Evanston, IL

When: Thursday, January 7, 2021, 9:00 PM ET

Line: Illinois Fighting Illini (odds) vs. Northwestern Wildcats (odds) – view all 2021 NCAAB lines

TV Broadcast: Big Ten Network


Betting on the Illinois Fighting Illini (odds)

Record: 8-3 Overall / 4-1 Conference

After losing to the Rutgers Scarlet Knights on Dec. 20, the Fighting Illini have ripped off three wins in a row. In their last game, the Fighting Illini torched the Purdue Boilermakers at home, 66-58. Big man Kofi Cockburn paced Illinois with 14 points to go with 10 rebounds, while three other starters scored in double figures for the Fighting Illini, whose offense has been a headache for opponents this season. Illinois is 13th in Division I basketball with 85.4 points per game and fifth with a 52.7 field goal shooting percentage. Even when looking at their advanced stats, the Fighting Illini look scary on offense. Per KenPom, Illinois is sixth overall with a 116.1 points average every 100 possessions. 

Illinois is 4-0 straight up and 2-1-1 against the spread in its last four games against Northwestern, dating back to 2019.

Betting on the Northwestern Wildcats (odds)

Record: 6-2 Overall / 3-1 Conference

Northwestern simply couldn’t deal with the Michigan Wolverines’ great play on both ends of the floor in the Wildcats’ 85-66 road loss to Juwan Howard’s boys last Sunday.  The Wildcats shot just 41.3 percent from the floor while Michigan sank 50 percent of their field goal attempts. Robbie Beran led Northwestern with 14 points, while Miller Kopp had 13 points. Kopp leads the Wildcats this season in scoring with 14.4 points per game. The Wildcats shot just 5-of-18 from deep against Michigan, as they were trying to cut down the Wolverines’ huge lead. But the Wildcats are among the best outside-shooting teams in the nation. In fact, Northwestern is draining 40.0 percent of their 3-point attempts this season. Northwestern likes to move the ball a lot and find open shooters, with the Wildcats have a 0.661 assist-to-field-goal-made ration, which is seventh-best in Division I. They might have more success this time against Illinois that doesn’t really force a lot of turnovers.

Northwestern is 2-0 against the spread in its last two games as the home team.

Writer’s Prediction

Illinois wins, 78-73.

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Ryan
Written by Ryan

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