NCAA Basketball Picks: Illinois Fighting Illini vs. Purdue Boilermakers
Illinois Fighting Illini at Purdue Boilermakers
Wednesday, 1/3/12, 8:30 PM EST, TV: Big Ten Network
Opening Point Spread: Illinois -2
Current Betting Line: Illinois -2
Opening Total: 137.5
Current Total: 137.5
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker
Illinois bounced back from its first loss of the year in capturing an 81-79 victory over Auburn as 12.5-point neutral-site favorites Saturday, while going OVER the total in consecutive contests. John Groce will now try to become the Fighting Illini’ third-straight rookie coach to record a win in his first Big Ten Conference game. “Home, road, all of them are fistfights,” commented Groce. “It’s a great league.” The program has won 11 of its last 13 league openers, including its last four. Illinois is 3-5 ATS as a favorite this season, which is important to consider when making your NCAA basketball picks Wednesday night.
The Fighting Illini will be trying to end a seven-game skid against the Boilermakers, as nobody in their senior class has ever picked up a victory in this series. Illinois will also be trying to snap a seven-game conference road losing streak, which can’t be ignored when looking over the college basketball betting odds. Offensively, the team ranks third in the NCAA in averaging 9.4 3-point field goals made per game, while pacing the nation in making 132 shots from beyond the arc overall.
Purdue has won back-to-back games, including a 73-66 victory over William & Mary as 11.5-point home favorites, but has failed to cover the point spread in its last five opportunities. “We still have to be more consistent offensively,” commented Boilermakers head coach Matt Painter. He has compiled a dominating 47-14 record at home versus conference opponents, while going 4-3 in league openers during his time on campus. Purdue is 1-7 ATS when playing a team with a winning record this year.
The Boilermakers rank second in the Big Ten in three-point field goal percentage defense, which is an important statistic to handicap in this high-profile matchup. Purdue is also second in averaging 14.4 offensive rebounds per game, which has allowed the team to outscore opponents by a count of 145-82 on second chances this season.
Sports bettors will likely back the Boilermakers due to the underdog being 4-1 ATS in the last five meetings.
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