No. 13 Illinois Fighting Illini at No. 10 Gonzaga Bulldogs
Saturday, 12/8/12, 10:00 PM EST, TV: ESPN2
Opening Point Spread: Gonzaga -11.5
Current Betting Line: Gonzaga -11.5
Opening Total: 139.5
Current Total: 143.5
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker
Illinois is off to a 9-0 start under first-year head coach John Groce, as Saturday night’s game inside the McCarthey Athletic Center feature two of the 18 remaining unbeaten teams in Division I college basketball. “That’s a great environment,” commented Groce about the upcoming situation. “It’s an exciting challenge, a national TV game against a top 10 team.” The Fighting Illini enter this game off a 72-64 win over Western Carolina as 18-point home favorites. Illinois is 1-9 ATS in its last 10 road games versus a team with a winning home record.
The Fighting Illini might be a team to fade when making your college basketball picks against the spread this weekend, as they’ve lost their last nine road games versus ranked opponents. Illinois has managed to win its last six non-conference road games away from home, which includes a 78-77 overtime victory over Hawaii on Nov. 16. Offensively, the team leads the nation in total 3-point field goals made, averaging 10.8 makes per game.
Gonzaga has enjoyed a great beginning to the 2012-13 campaign in winning its first nine games, but the team has failed to cover the spread in its last two contests, which includes a 71-69 win over Washington State as 11.5-point road favorites. The Bulldogs were led by their bigs in that affair, with Elias Harris and Kelly Olynyk combining for 45 points. “We gave game balls to both of these guys,” commented Bulldogs coach Mark Few after the game. Gonzaga is 8-3 ATS in its last 11 non-conference games, which is important to consider when looking over the college basketball odds page.
The Bulldogs have lost the last two meetings in this series, while the OVER has cashed in three of four games since 2004. Gonzaga has dropped four straight home games against ranked, non-conference opponents, which may allow Illinois to sneak under this double-digit spread.
Sports bettors will likely back the Fighting Illini due to their 4-1 ATS mark versus West Coast Conference opponents, while Bulldogs are 3-7-1 ATS off a spread loss.
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