No. 19 Illinois (17-3, 5-2) at Minnesota (17-3, 5-3)
Illinois took out Wisconsin 64-57 to win their eighth straight home game. Now they need to prove themselves on the road to bring home the league title. One game back of league leader Michigan State, Illinois plays four of their next six games in enemy territory. Still leading the Big Ten in scoring defense (56.6 per game), the Illini are getting it done in the paint on both ends of the court.
Minnesota played well for 40 minutes and completed a road victory at Indiana 67-63. Having issues with the outside shooting, the Gophers are moving the ball inside more. In the Indiana victory, Damian Johnson scored 18 and had six boards to go along with Ralph Sampson’s 13 points and eight rebounds.
Illinois is 11-5-1 ATS, including 4-1 on the road.
Illinois is 8-2 ATS in their last 10 matchups against Minnesota.
Minnesota is 9-6 ATS, including 5-4 at home.
The inside play of Minnesota is going to be difficult to get going against the big Illinois line. The Illini absolutely own the Gophers, having beaten them in 20 straight games. I’m calling Blackjack with straight victory number 21 on Thursday night.
Dave’s Pick: Illinois
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