Illinois Fighting Illini vs Minnesota Golden Gophers prediction and college basketball game preview.
Illinois vs Minnesota Broadcast
Date: Saturday, February 20
Game Time: 3:30 ET
Venue: Williams Arena, Minneapolis, MN
Illinois (15-5) vs Minnesota (13-9) Game Preview
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Why Illinois Will Win
Minnesota got annihilated by the Illini in the first meeting back in mid-December after getting destroyed on the boards.
Illinois came up with 49 rebounds, Minnesota couldn’t shoot, and the result was a 92-65 win – but that’s Illinois. It’s great at owning the rebounding margin, the offense is hitting from the outside on a consistent basis, and the team is moving the ball around as well as anyone in the Big Ten.
Minnesota is dead last in the Big Ten in rebounding margin, it’s not consistent enough from the outside, and it’s not making what it’s taking – the Gophers have been under 30% from three in each of the last four games and eight of the last ten.
Why Minnesota Will Win
Illinois might be gettable on the road.
The team is fantastic, and it’s on a six-game winning streak, but the good road win is against …
Indiana in overtime? The Illini are 5-3 away from Champaign, and it took overtime to get past a bad Nebraska as well as IU. Beating Northwestern in Evanston is no big whoop, and taking down Duke this year doesn’t matter.
So what’s the issue? For whatever reason, Illinois isn’t missing lately at home, and it’s not quite at the same level on the road. It’s not just shooting background – it’s okay from three no matter where it is – but it just hasn’t been as sharp.
On the flip side, in general, Minnesota’s problems are on the road – going 0-8 this year – but it’s been able to own The Barn, and that includes a win over Michigan.
What’s Going To Happen
Minnesota will hit the free throws that Illinois won’t.
Illinois is the far better team, but the Gophers will get a bit of a groove back after losing two straight on the road in a fun, tight game that will come down to the final moments.
Illinois vs Minnesota Prediction, Line
Minnesota 75, Illinois 73
Bet on college basketball with BetMGM
Illinois -4.5, o/u: 146
ATS Confidence out of 5: 3
Must See Rating: 3.5
5: A 3rd and 2nd for an NFL starting QB
1: $33.4 million in dead cap money