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Last Updated Feb 27, 2022, 19:02 PM

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

CBS will carry this Sunday afternoon’s Big Ten tilt between the No. 15 Illinois Fighting and the Michigan Wolverines. Tip-off from Crisler Center in Ann Arbor is slated for 2 p.m. (ET).

Score Prediction

Illinois 77, Michigan 68

Best Bets

Illinois -1 (-110)

ILLINOIS FIGHTING ILLINI VS. MICHIGAN WOLVERINES PREDICTIONS

With Thursday night’s three-point loss to Ohio State as seven-point home favorites, the Fighting Illini have now lost three of their last five games straight-up. After falling to Rutgers on Feb. 16 in a stunning 11-point loss, Illinois did respond by beating Michigan State on the road by five points as a slight 2.5-point favorite.

Following the suspension of head coach Juwan Howard due to a postgame brawl, the Wolverines responded by beating Rutgers by nine points this past Wednesday night as five-point favorites at home. They have now won four of their last six games SU in a run that includes victories over Purdue and Iowa closing as underdogs. Michigan has been in the spotlight lately for all the wrong reasons. However, this team has been playing much more competitive ball down the stretch run of the Big Ten regular season.

While another victory Sunday would add to the Wolverines’ momentum heading into March, Illinois may actually need this game a bit more. Look for the Fighting Illini to once again respond to a tough loss with a big win.

ILLINOIS FIGHTING ILLINI VS. MICHIGAN WOLVERINES BETTING ODDS

  • Illinois -1 (-110)
  • Michigan +1 (-110)
  • Over 141.5 (-110)
  • Under 141.5 (-110)

More Odds | Futures Odds

ILLINOIS FIGHTING ILLINI VS. MICHIGAN WOLVERINES BETTING RESOURCES

  • Matchup: Big 10
  • Date: Sunday, February 27, 2022
  • Venue: Crisler Center
  • Location: Ann Arbor, Michigan
  • TV-Time: CBS - 2:00 p.m. ET

ILLINOIS FIGHTING ILLINI BETTING ANALYSIS

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

  • SU: 19-8
  • ATS: 12-15
  • O/U: 16-11

Illinois has now failed to cover the closing number in four of its last five games. Going back to a 10-point win against Nebraska on Jan. 11 as 12.5-point road favorites, the Fighting Illini are 4-8 ATS in their last 12 games. Yet, one of those victories was a 68-53 romp over Michigan on Jan. 14 closing as 11-point favorites at home.

This lineup is four deep with players averaging at least 10 points per game. Center Kofi Cockburn remains the centerpiece with a team-high 21.2 points and 10.8 rebounds a game. He was held to just 12 points and three rebounds in the loss to Ohio State in 24 minutes of playing time. Both of those numbers should dramatically improve on Sunday.

Guard Alfonso Plummer is another key contributor on offense with 15.1 PPG while shooting 43.5% from the field and 41.2% from three-point range. Guard Trent Frazier (12.4 points) leads the way in both assists (4.0) and steals (1.4).

Illinois, as a team, is shooting 45.6% from the field and converting on 36.4% of its shots from three point range. The Fighting Illini are averaging 76.3 points and 39.3 rebounds a game. Defensively, they are holding opposing teams to 67.4 PPG.

MICHIGAN WOLVERINES BETTING ANALYSIS

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

  • SU: 15-11
  • ATS: 11-15
  • O/U: 14-12

Despite a few big upsets, Michigan is still a tough bet ATS. It has failed to cover in six of its last 10 outings with a 2-3 record ATS in its last five games at home. The earlier lopsided loss to Illinois could act as a source of motivation but the Wolverines were never in that game. This team’s overall lack of consistency both on the court and at the betting window is just too hard to ignore.

Michigan will get forwards’ Moussa Diabate and Terrance Williams II back for Sunday’s game following a suspension for their roles in that postgame fight. The big key to getting a win on Sunday still lies with the play of center Hunter Dickinson as the Wolverines’ top player. He is averaging 18 points and 8.2 rebounds a game.

Guard Eli Brooks is the second leading scorer with 12.4 PPG while shooting 44.4% from the field and 39.5% from three point range. Guard DeVante’ Jones (9.5 points) leads in assists with 4.4 while shooting 44% from the field. The Wolverines are averaging 72.2 points and 36.3 rebounds a game. They are connecting on 46.7% of their shots from the field and 33.3% from outside the three-point line. Michigan’s points-allowed average this season is 68.4.

INSIDE THE STATS - ILLINOIS FIGHTING ILLINI

  • Record: 19-8
  • PS/G: 76.3 (56th)
  • PA/G: 67.4 (133rd)
  • ORtg: 110 (38th)
  • DRtg: 97.2 (116th)

INSIDE THE STATS - MICHIGAN WOLVERINES

  • Record: 15-11
  • PS/G: 72.2 (155th)
  • PA/G: 68.4 (164th)
  • ORtg: 107.3 (78th)
  • DRtg: 101.6 (231st)

KEY PLAYERS TO WATCH

  • ILL: Kofi Cockburn - C (21.2 ppg, 10.8 rpg)
  • ILL: Alfonso Plummer - G (15.1 ppg)
  • MICH: Hunter Dickinson - C (18 ppg, 8.2 rpg)
  • MICH: Eli Brooks - G (12.4 ppg)
Illinois has failed to cover the spread in four of its last five games. (AP)

ILLINOIS FIGHTING ILLINI VS. MICHIGAN WOLVERINES BETTING CONCLUSION

This has been one of the tightest Big Ten series in recent years. Each team has won five of the last 10 meetings SU with Illinois holding the ever-so slim 5-4-1 edge ATS. The last four meetings have stayed UNDER the closing total line, including the first meeting this season with the total set at 143 points.

Michigan should be able to keep things interesting at home this time around. However, I still see Illinois pulling off the season sweep both SU and ATS. This is the time of the year when the best teams in the nation step up to fill the role. The Fighting Illini cannot afford another costly step backwards.

ILLINOIS FIGHTING ILLINI VS. MICHIGAN WOLVERINES BETTING TRENDS

  • Illinois has failed to cover the spread in four of its last five games.
  • Michigan has alternated covering the spread in eight straight games, last game was a cover.
  • Michigan has gone UNDER the point total in four of its last six games.
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