The Illinois Fighting Illini travel to take on the Minnesota Golden Gophers today in Big Ten College Basketball action. The game is scheduled for a 2:15 p.m. start time and it will be televised live on the Big Ten Network. Currently the Betting Odds for the game have the Golden Gophers favored to pick up the win.
Today's battle between a pair of Big Ten teams with two-word nicknames should be a quality contest. The Golden Gophers of Minnesota are a horrible 1-6 on the season in conference play, but they are favored by a comfortable margin in this one at home. Illinois has been up and down this season and is sitting higher in the standings than Minnesota, but they have been a struggling team in road games, going just 1-4 and losing three of those games to conference foes.
The Fighting Illini have taken a step back since losing leading scorer Rayvonte Rice, alternating wins and losses the last five games and not being able to get themselves into a rhythm. Malcolm Hill has shouldered a lot of the scoring responsibilities in Rice's absence, but it's still not enough for the Illini.
Minnesota needs to get their season turned around. They score a lot of points at better than 77 per game this season, but in Big Ten play that number has come down to just 66 points per game in Big Ten action. In their most recent game the Gophers suffered a 52-49 loss at Nebraska, the fewest points in a single game all season. Needless to say, they're going to have to play better in this one today.
Home games have helped Minnesota get to their 13 wins, claiming 10 of their wins there this season. Andre Hollins, Carlos Morris and Maurice Walker all average at least a dozen points per game and will look to feed off the home crowd in this one. Minnesota will win the rebounding battle, which will allow them to get out in transition and get some easy buckets.
Look for the Golden Gophers to pick up the win here today.
Free Pick: Minnesota 68, Illinois 60
College Basketball Free Picks: Illinois vs Minnesota Betting
What college basketball bettors need to know about betting Illinois Fighting Illini vs Minnesota Golden Gophers on Saturday (1/24/14) - a free pick from Pregame.com's Ken Thomson with added insight from Dave Cokin.
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