Northwestern and Illinois throw down on Wednesday in the Big Ten Tournament’s first round. The Illini, because the tournament takes place in Chicago, is a slight -2 favorite. Will under .500 Illinois win the first game in their conference tournament, or will Northwestern upset the Fighting Illini?
Northwestern vs Illinois NCAAB Lines & Betting Analysis
Tomorrow • Big Ten Tournament • vs. @IlliniMBB» https://t.co/53Jlc0kBb7#B1GCats | #PoundTheRock | #B1GBasketball pic.twitter.com/fTzGU0fQHl— Northwestern Basketball (@NUMensBball) 12 de marzo de 2019
- When: Wednesday, March 13 at 9:00 pm ET
- Where: United Center, Chicago, IL
- TV: BTN
- Live Stream: BTN2G0
- ATS Odds: Illinois -2
- Over/Under Total Odds: 136 ½
Why Northwestern Wildcats are a good bet +2
Northwestern had a bad regular season. The Wildcats ended up with a 13-18 record. But, there was a silver lining to how Northwestern played. While the Wildcats failed in most areas, they were terrific on defense.
Northwestern only allowed 64.8 points per. Opponents shot 41.9% from the field and 29.2% from three. The Wildcats three-point defense ranked fifth in the nation. Northwestern will lean on their three-point defense in this game. Unless Illinois finds a way to get an inside game going, the Wildcats will have a shot.
- Points/G: 65.8
- Field Goal %: 40.5
- 3-Point %: 31.7
- Free Throw %: 73.5
- Rebounds/G: 33.6
- Points/G: 64.8
- Field Goal %: 41.9
- 3-Point %: 29.2
- Free Throw %: 71.3
- Rebounds/G: 32.1
Why Illinois Fighting Illini are a good bet -2?
The Illinois have an awful 11-20 regular season record. That makes Illinois the worst regular season team in the Big Ten. However, the Fighting Illini played well in their last 10 regular season games, going 5-5 straight up and covering in 5 out of their final 10.
One of the wins was over Big Ten heavyweight Michigan State. They also beat Northwestern 81-76 as a -4.5 home favorite on March 3. Illinois is simply playing better than Northwestern is. They’ll win and cover on March 13.
- Points/G: 73
- Field Goal %: 42.8
- 3-Point %: 34.6
- Free Throw %: 70.2
- Rebounds/G: 32.9
- Points/G: 75.2
- Field Goal %: 46.6
- 3-Point %: 32.9
- Free Throw %: 73.4
- Rebounds/G: 33.4
NCAAB Betting Trends for Northwestern vs Illinois
- Northwestern is 1-5-2 ATS in its last 8 games
- Northwestern is 1-11 SU in its last 12 games
- The total has gone UNDER in 6 of Northwestern’s last 8 games
- Illinois is 0-4-1 ATS in its last 5 games
- Illinois is 1-5 SU in its last 6 games
- Illinois is 7-0-1 ATS in its last 8 games when playing Northwestern
Northwestern vs Illinois Final NCAAB Betting Analysis
These two teams play different styles. Northwestern prefers to slow everything down while Illinois wants to speed everything up. The key for the Wildcats will be stopping Illinois from having success behind the three-point line.
The Illini were able to hit 3 out of 16 from behind the three-point line, that’s 37.5%, in the win over the Wildcats. But, Northwestern’s defense will step it up on Wednesday night while Illinois might be too pumped up to face a team like the Wildcats.
Although the Wildcats have been awful, they did hold Ohio State to 50 points on March 6, Wisconsin to 69 on Feb. 23, Minnesota to 62 on Feb. 28, and Purdue to 70 on March 9. Illinois will have a horrible time adjusting if Northwestern plays their style. The Wildcats get the nod.