The Michigan Wolverines and the Illinois Fighting Illini meet Friday in college basketball action from State Farm Center. Michigan enters this year at 7-6 so far. The Wolverines lost to Rutgers in their last appearance. As for Illinois, they’re 12-3 on the season and fresh off a win over Nebraska. Check back all season long for free college basketball picks at Sports Chat Place.
Michigan posted a 6-3 run over the first nine games this year, falling to Seton Hall, Arizona and North Carolina along the way. It’s been a 1-3 stretch since with a win over Southern Utah among losses to Minnesota, UCF and Rutgers.
Matched up against Rutgers on January 4, the Wolverines were outscored 39-30 in the first half. Michigan picked it up from there but still lost 75-67. Hunter Dickinson led the team with 25 points, and Moussa Diabate added 15 points with nine boards.
Over on the Illinois side, they went 7-3 over their first 10 games with losses to Marquette, Cincinnati and Arizona. The Illini have since won five straight over St. Francis PA, Missouri, Minnesota, Maryland and Nebraska.
On Tuesday versus Nebraska, the Illini were down by three points heading into the break. Illinois picked it up from there on a 50-37 run in an eventual 81-71 comeback win. Trent Frazier topped the team on 29 points, and Kofi Cockburn doubled on 16 points and 13 boards.
The Illini are 4-1 ATS in their last five at home and 4-1 ATS in their last five Friday games. Illinois is 4-1 ATS in their last five overall.
Meanwhile, the Wolverines are 6-1 ATS in their last seven Friday games and the over is 5-1 in their last six overall. The over is 4-1 in Michigan’s last five road games.
PICK: I’m going to try Illinois here. The Illini got into a bit of trouble early during their last game, but eventually came back for a double-digit win. Illinois shot 47 percent from the floor versus Nebraska with 38 rebounds and 13 team assists. The Illini have also hit 72 or more points in each of their last 11 games, so they’re scoring quite well.
Michigan is generally a solid offensive team this year as well and I think they’ll keep things honest for most of the game. Cover-wise I think Illinois will eke this one out, so long as the line doesn’t inflate any further. I don’t see a big double-digit win under too many circumstances here.
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