The fifth-ranked Illinois and second-ranked Baylor Bears are set for a huge matchup when they square off in the nightcap of the 2020 Jimmy V Classic doubleheader at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis on Wednesday. While both national championship title hopefuls looking to keep their unblemished records intact, let’s find out where the best betting value lies in this highly-anticipated affair. Illinois battles Baylor in the first game at 7:00 PM ET. That said, let’s jump right into action so you can go ahead and place your bets against their College Basketball odds.
College Basketball Betting Picks – No. 5 Illinois at No. 2 Baylor
Illinois Fighting Illini (3-0) Vs Baylor Bears (2-0) General Match Info
- When: Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2020 at 7:00 PM ET
- Where: Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, IN
- NCAAB Odds: TBD
Why Bet On No. 5 Illinois
Illinois spanked North Carolina A&T 122-60 in its opener before routing Chicago State 97-38 in their second game of the season. The Fighting Illini’ then narrowly avoided a huge upset by squeaking past Ohio 77-75 on Friday. While junior point guard, Ayo Dosunmu scored a team-high 24 points in the win, Illinois allowed Bobcats junior guard Jason Preston to go off for a career-high 31 points in the win. Down, 74-73 with 35 seconds remaining, Dosunmu (25.7 ppg, 7.7 rpg, 6.7 apg), went the length of the court to draw a foul where he would eventually drain a pair of game-winning free throws. Illinois is averaging a stellar 98.7 points per game while allowing just 57.7 points per contest defensively.
“They drew up a great play,” Dosunmu said of the coaching decision to get him the ball inside. “I just wanted to get to the rim and it ended up successful and I made two free throws.”
- Fighting Illini are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 Wednesday games.
- Fighting Illini are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games vs. a team with a winning straight up record.
- Over is 5-1-1 in Fighting Illini last 7 overall.
- Over is 6-2 in Fighting Illini last 8 games following a ATS loss.
- Over is 3-1-1 in Fighting Illini last 5 games following a straight up win.
- Under is 13-6 in Fighting Illini last 19 neutral site games.
Why Bet On No. 2 Baylor
The second-ranked Bears walloped the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns 112-82 in their regular season opener on Nov. 28 before recording a more impressive win in their second game by beating Washington 86-52 on Sunday. The Bears have gotten the job done twice under assistant coach Jerome Tang who is filling in for head coach Scott Drew as he goes through a 10-day isolation period after testing positive for COVID-19.
“I’m a happy camper with the effort on the defensive end today,” Tang said. “I was pleased with our guys focus. I only thought we had a couple of lulls … where we let it get away from us. Other than that I thought we were pretty locked in.”
Junior guard, Jared Butler scored a game-high 20 points and dished out five assists while sophomore guard, Adam Flagler made five three-point shots and scored 17 points off the bench while MaCio Teague added 15 points. Now, as they get set to take on Illinois, the Bears are averaging a stupendous 99.0 points per game while limiting the opposition to just 67.0 points per contest defensively.
“These guys are going to be excited to play anybody because games are precious right now,” said Tang. “The fact that the teams are highly ranked and they’ve got some really good players on there, it’s only going to heighten our guys’ focus.”
- Bears are 9-4 ATS in their last 13 games following a ATS win.
- Bears are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games overall.
- Bears are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games vs. a team with a winning straight up record.
- Over is 5-1 in Bears last 6 overall.
- Under is 4-1 in Bears last 5 games following a ATS win.
- Over is 4-1 in Bears last 5 neutral site games.
- Under is 5-2 in Bears last 7 games following a straight up win.
- Over is 10-4 in Bears last 14 games following a straight up win of more than 20 points.
Expert Analysis and Prediction
While Illinois is unbeaten and has a legitimate superstar in Ayo Dosunmu, I’m not impressed with their pair of blowout wins over two tiny programs to start the season and I have even more concerns after seeing their effort against Ohio the last time out. Baylor has a better and deeper roster and the Bears are, by far, the better defensive team in this matchup.
Illinois had 16 total turnovers against Ohio and has committed more turnovers than their opponent in all three games this season while owning a minus-14 turnover margin coming into this matchup.
Baylor has gone a perfect 6-0 ATS in their last 6 neutral site games and 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games following a straight up win of more than 20 points. Illinois has gone a discouraging 2-6 ATS in their last 8 neutral site games and 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games following a straight up win. Baylor will not only win this matchup of Top 5 teams, but the Bears will get it done by double digits.
Pick: Baylor 85 Illinois 75
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