Check out our free Illinois vs Northwestern pick and preview for this NCAA Basketball game in Evanston. See who we like to win and cover the spread in this College Basketball matchup.

Illinois vs Northwestern Pick & Preview: Wednesday, January 4th Betting Odds

Fighting Illini vs Wildcats Matchup at a Glance

  • Sport: NCAAB
  • Teams: Illinois Fighting Illini at Northwestern Wildcats
  • Where: Evanston at Welsh-Ryan Arena
  • Date: Wednesday, January 4th
  • Betting Odds: Illinois -2.5, ILL -146 | NW +119 O/U 132.5

Fighting Illini Preview:

Illinois heads into this matchup having played 13 games and have an overall record sitting at 9-4. On the road, the Fighting Illini will be playing their 5th game of the season, having gone 2-3. So far, the Fighting Illini have been favored 10 times, going 7-3 straight up. In today’s matchup, the oddsmakers have Illinois as -2.5 point favorites.

Illinois will be counting on another strong performance from the team’s leading scorer Terrence Shannon Jr. who is averaging 17.77 points per game for the Fighting Illini. Jr. is also important to the team’s ability to score on the perimeter. So far, he leads the team in 3-point shots made. Also key to the Fighting Illini’s offensive gameplan is the play of Dain Dainja who has hit 74.7% of his field goal attempts on his way to averaging 10.69 points per game.

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So far this season, Illinois has put together a strong scoring offense at 75.8 points per game (66th). This strong figure has come despite the Fighting Illini playing at a slow tempo compared to other schools. For the season, they have hit 36.7% of their shots from outside, which is closer to the NCAA average. Illinois’ overall field goal percentage currently sits at 45.3%

Wildcats Preview:

Heading into today’s matchup vs Illinois, the Northwestern Wildcats will be taking the floor for the 14th time this season and have an overall record of 10-3. Currently, the Wildcats have been the home team 11 times, sitting with a record of 8-3. So far, the Wildcats have been the underdog 3 times, going 1-2 straight up. Heading into today’s contest, they are the +2.5 underdogs on the spread.

Northwestern will be counting on another strong performance from the team’s leading scorer Chase Audige who is averaging 15.38 points per game for the Wildcats. Audige is also important to the team’s ability to score on the perimeter. So far, he leads the team in 3-point shots made. Also key to the Wildcats’ offensive gameplan is the play of Boo Buie who has hit 34.8% of his field goal attempts on his way to averaging 13.85 points per game.

On offense, Northwestern is scoring a rate similar to the NCAA average at 73.0 points per game. This figure has come despite struggling to knock down shots from outside. Through 13 games, they have only hit 34.7% of their 3-point field goal attempts. For the season, 38.69% of their shots have come from beyond the arc.

Free Spread Prediction: Northwestern Wildcats +2.5

Heading into this matchup between the Illinois Fighting Illini and Northwestern Wildcats we have a strong lean on taking the points with Northwestern at +2.5. Both team’s are going to come into this game looking to get up looks from outside, as they are both average team’s in terms of 3-pointers made per game. Look for Northwestern to benefit from facing another squad looking to turn this into a 3-point shooting contest. When looking at the line, we see tremendous value in taking the Northwestern Wildcats at +2.5. Go ahead and lock this bet in before tip-off.

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