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Michigan Wolverines vs. Illinois Fighting Illini Picks, Predictions, Odds

Jan. 14, 2022
Dave Schawb
VI Betting Expert

As part of Friday night’s tripleheader of college basketball betting action on FS1, the Michigan Wolverines will face the No. 25 Illinois Fighting Illini in a Big Ten battle at State Farm Center in Champaign. Tip-off is slated for 9 p.m. (ET).

Score Prediction

Illinois 80, Michigan 77

Best Bets

Over 145 (-115) at DraftKings

Michigan Wolverines vs. Illinois Fighting Illini Predictions

Through 13 games, Michigan has struggled to a straight-up 7-6 record while closing as a favorite in all 13 matchups The bigger concern for the Wolverines could be the 1-2 SU start in the Big Ten. This includes a home loss to Minnesota as 13.5-point favorites in early December and an eight-point road loss to Rutgers their last time out on Jan. 4 favored by 3.5 points.

Illinois is off to a hot 5-0 SU start in conference play. This is part of a 12-3 record on the year. This past Tuesday, the Fighting Illini got past Nebraska by 10 points on the road as 12.5-point favorites. However, they did manage to cover against the spread in their first four Big Ten wins including a big four-point win over Iowa as 3.5-point road underdogs.

Betting on Michigan to turn things around on the road against a nationally ranked team comes with some high risk. Yet, betting against a team that was ranked No. 6 before the season is also a risky wager. I have the Fighting Illini winning on Friday night, but my best bet in this game is the OVER on the total line.

Michigan Wolverines vs. Illinois Fighting Illini Betting Odds

  • Michigan +9.5 (-105)
  • Illinois -9.5 (-115)
  • Over 145 (-115)
  • Under 145 (-105)

More Odds | Futures Odds

Michigan Wolverines vs. Illinois Fighting Illini Betting Resources

  • Matchup: Big 10
  • Date: Friday, January 14, 2022
  • Venue: State Farm Center
  • Location: Champaign, Illinois
  • TV-Time: FS1 - 9:00 p.m. ET

Michigan Wolverines Betting Analysis

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

  • SU: 7-6
  • ATS: 5-8
  • O/U: 6-7

When your team is a major topic of discussion under the headline “what’s wrong with Michigan and is it fixable” at this point of the season, there is reason for concern. You can start adding up the list of excuses if you are a Wolverines’ fan. However, start the list with failing to live up to lofty expectations.

Michigan does have a list of players marked as questionable on the current injury report. However, the team’s top three scorers should be in the starting lineup. Averaging 16.1 points and 8.8 rebounds a game, center Hunter Dickerson is one of the Wolverines’ most important players.

Guard Eli Brooks (12.9 points) and forward Caleb Houstan (9.5 points) are the next two players on the list with Michigan averaging 72.8 points as a team. Brooks is shooting 43.2% from the field and 36.9% from three-point range. Guard DeVante’ Jones leads the team in assists with 3.8 a game.

The Wolverines are shooting a respectable 47.1% from the field. This drops to 34% from three- point range and 68% from the free throw line. They are pulling down an average of 38.5 rebounds a game as another respectable stat. Defensively, Michigan is allowing an average of 66.8 PPG which continues to be an issue.

Illinois Fighting Illini Betting Analysis

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

  • SU: 12-3
  • ATS: 8-7
  • O/U: 10-5

Even though Illinois failed to cover in Tuesday’s win, it is a highly profitable 7-2 ATS in its last nine games. The team’s only SU loss in its last 11 games came against Arizona as a 2.5-point underdog on Dec. 11. The total has gone OVER in nine of the Fighting Illini’s last 11 games as another strong betting trend.

Center Kofi Cockburn is one player that has more than lived up to expectations through the first two months of the season. He leads Illinois in both points (22.0) and rebounds (12.5). When a college player is averaging a double-double, they have to be playing at a very high level.

Guard Alfonso Plummer is another important part of an offensive effort on a team that is averaging 80.5 PPG. This makes Illinois one of the highest scoring teams in the nation. Plummer is scoring 15.9 points a game while shooting 46.3% from the field and 40.9% from three point range. Guards’ Trent Frazier and Jacob Grandison are adding close to 25 PPG combined.

Illinois is shooting 47% from the field and converting on 38.7% of its shots outside the three- point line. The team’s 43.7 rebounds a game is ranked seventh in the country. Defensively, the Fighting Illini are allowing an average of 65 PPG.

Illinois has covered the spread in five of its last eight home games. (AP)

Inside the Stats - Michigan Wolverines

  • Record: 7-6
  • VI Ranking: 65
  • PS/G: 72.8 (161st)
  • PA/G: 66.8 (135th)
  • ORtg: 106.2 (112th)
  • DRtg: 97.5 (173rd)

Inside the Stats - Illinois Fighting Illini

  • Record: 12-3
  • VI Ranking: 23
  • PS/G: 80.5 (25th)
  • PA/G: 65 (91st)
  • ORtg: 115.3 (12th)
  • DRtg: 93.1 (79th)

Key Players to Watch

  • MICH: Hunter Dickinson - C (16.1 ppg, 8.7 rpg)
  • MICH: Eli Brooks - G (12.9 ppg)
  • ILL: Kofi Cockburn - C (22 ppg, 12.5 rpg)
  • ILL: Alfonso Plummer - G (15.9 ppg)

Michigan Wolverines vs. Illinois Fighting Illini Betting Conclusion

This series has remained tight in recent years with Michigan holding the slight SU 6-4 edge (5- 4-1 ATS) over the last 10 meetings. The total has been evenly split 5-5 in those 10 games. However, it has gone OVER the closing line in three of the last four meetings in Illinois.

Michigan still has time to turn things around and I am expecting a solid effort on Friday night. That being said, the OVER remains the best way to wager on this game.

Michigan Wolverines vs. Illinois Fighting Illini Betting Trends

  • Illinois has covered the spread in five of its last eight home games.
  • Illinois has gone OVER the point total in 10 of its last 15 games.
  • Illinois has won the second half in nine straight games when playing at night.
  • Illinois has won three straight games when facing Michigan.

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