Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 9:48 AM

Minnesota vs. Illinois Predictions, Odds

  • December 15, 2020
  • By David Schwab

The Minnesota Golden Gophers open Big Ten play this Tuesday night in a road game against the No. 6 Illinois Fighting Illini. Tip-off from State Farm Center is set for 7 p.m. (ET) on ESPN2.


Minnesota-Illinois Betting Odds

Line Movements

  • Spread: Illinois -7.5
  • Money-Line: Illinois -370 Minnesota +275
  • Total: 150.5

Odds Subject to Change

Illinois will start its conference schedule as a seven-point home favorite. The betting line for the total in this game has been opened at 150 points. Minnesota is off to a straight-up 6-0 start closing as a double-digit favorite in five of the six games. It has gone 2-3-1 against the spread with the total going OVER in four of those six contests.

The Golden Gophers are just 3-17 SU in their last 20 road games with the total going OVER in five of its last six conference games. With losses (SU and ATS) to Baylor and Missouri wrapped around a victory over Duke (SU and ATS), the Fighting Illini are off to a 4-2 SU start while going 3-3 ATS.

The total has gone OVER in five of the six games. Illinois is now 3-6 ATS over its last nine games. Yet, it has won 15 of its last 18 games against Minnesota SU to dominate this series. The total has gone OVER in six of the last nine meetings between the two.


Betting Analysis – Minnesota Golden Gophers

Straight Up - SU, Against the Spread - ATS, Over-Under (O/U)

  • SU: 6-0
  • ATS: 2-3-1
  • SU - Home: 6-0
  • SU - Away: 0-0
  • O/U: 4-2

Minnesota’s toughest test of the season came against Boston College in an 85-80 victory closing as a -7-point favorite. That game was decided in overtime.

Center Liam Robbins led the way in a routine 90-61 victory against Missouri-Kansas City on Dec. 10. He ended the night with 27 points, nine rebounds and five blocked shots. Guard Marcus Carr is the leading scorer on the team with 23.8 points per game. He is shooting 48.5% from the field and 39.4% from three-point range.

Guard Both Gach is second on the list with 15.3 PPG while hitting 56.4% of his shots. The Golden Gophers have been able to average 84.2 points a game while holding their opponents to 69 points on defense. They are pulling down 39.8 rebounds a game.

Betting Analysis – Illinois Fighting Illini

Straight Up - SU, Against the Spread - ATS, Over-Under (O/U)

  • SU: 4-2
  • ATS: 3-3
  • SU - Home: 3-0
  • SU - Away: 1-2
  • O/U: 5-1

Despite the fact that guard Ayo Dosunmu ended this past Saturday’s loss to Missouri with 36 points, Illinois had no answer for the Tigers’ relentless offensive attack. It took an eight-point deficit into halftime to lose by three points at the end of regulation.

Dosunmu is averaging 24.8 points with a team-high 5.2 assists. He has connected on 53.5% of his shots and 40.9% on his three-point attempts. The Fighting Illini have four players with at least 11 PPG. They are shooting 53.8% from the field as part of a healthy 87.7-point scoring average.

Second-chance opportunities have been plentiful with almost 17 offensive boards a game. Defensively, Illinois is allowing 67.3 points with a total of 43.3 rebounds a game.

Inside the Stats – Minnesota Golden Gophers

  • PS/G: 84.2 (82nd)
  • PA/G: 69 (154th)
  • Off Rtg: 111.2 (62nd)
  • Def Rtg: 91.2 (100th)

Inside the Stats – Illinois Fighting Illini

  • PS/G: 87.7 (26th)
  • PA/G: 67.3 (127th)
  • Off Rtg: 117.7 (19th)
  • Def Rtg: 90.4 (85th)

Key Players to Watch

  • MINN - Marcus Carr (23.8 PPG, 6.2 APG)
  • MINN - Both Gach (15.3 PPG, 6.2 RPG)
  • MINN - Liam Robbins (12.5 PPG, 7.7 RPG)
  • ILL - Ayo Dosunmu (24.8 PPG, 7.7 RPG, 5.2 APG)
  • ILL - Kofi Cockburn (14 PPG, 8.8 RPG)

Minnesota-Illinois Predictions

The average margin of victory in this series over the past 10 games has been 6.1 points favoring Illinois. I do see Minnesota making a game of things deep into the second half. Yet, I'm still willing to lay the points on the home favorite. The recent loss to Missouri is still fresh in this teams’ minds.

I would also go with the OVER on the total line. Both of these teams have been lighting it up from the field. Look for each side to come close to its season average with defense taking a backseat for the night.

  • Score Prediction: Illinois 86 Minnesota 78
  • Best Bets: Illinois -7.5
  • Best Bets: OVER 150

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