WISCONSIN BADGERS (11-2)
at ILLINOIS FIGHTING ILLINI (11-3)
Tip-off: Sunday, 6:00 p.m. EDT
Line: Illinois -2, Total: 126.5
Wisconsin aims for its eighth straight win when it visits Illinois on Sunday night. The Badgers will have a hard time saying goodbye to a December that saw them finish 7-0, while holding opponents to 55.0 PPG on 39.0% shooting. Odds.
Wisconsin shot only 41.2% on Tuesday against Minnesota, but it limited the Golden Gophers to 39.0% from the field in a 68-60 home win. Jordan Taylor (15.9 PPG, 4.9 APG, 4.0 RPG, 38.3% three-pointers) had 22 points and seven assists versus Minnesota, while Jon Leuer (19.5 PPG, 7.5 RPG, 49.2% three-pointers) added 16 points. Leuer has Mr. Consistency this season for Wisconsin, scoring in double-digits in all 13 games.
Meanwhile, behind a record-breaking performance from long range, Illinois defeated Iowa in its Big Ten opener on Wednesday, 87-77. Illinois hit only 9-of-35 from three-point range in consecutive losses to Illinois-Chicago and Missouri, but shot a school-record 72.2% (13-of-18) from beyond the arc versus the Hawkeyes, finishing with a season-high 66.7% from the field for the game. Demetri McCamey (16.0 PPG, 7.3 APG, 51.6% three-pointers) had 20 points and 10 assists against Iowa, giving him his first double-double of the season. The do-everything guard has scored in double-digits in 13 of 14 games, including seven straight. Scores.
The Illini beat Wisconsin 58-54 in the quarterfinals of last season’s Big Ten tournament. But the Badgers have had some recent success in Champaign, winning three of the past four games and holding the Illini to 60.5 PPG during that stretch. Taylor and Leuer each had 20 points in a 72-57 win at Illinois on March 7.
Leuer has averaged 16.3 points on 19-of-38 shooting his last three games versus the Illini, while McCamey was held to 11 points against Wisconsin at home last March. Mike Tisdale (9.9 PPG, 7.4 RPG) is probably looking forward to seeing the Badgers again. The Illinois center has struggled with only 17 points total in his past three games, but he averaged 18.7 PPG on 20-of-27 shooting in three games against Wisconsin in 2009-10.
Dating back to 1997, this series has been tight with Illinois having the 15-13 SU advantage and Wisconsin holding a 14-12-2 ATS advantage. The Badgers will give Illinois another tough game on Sunday, but expect the Illini to pull away late for the victory. These two FoxSheets trends side with Illinois to win on Sunday.
ILLINOIS is 13-2 ATS (86.7%, +10.8 Units) in home games after scoring 45 points or more in the first half last game since 1997. The average score was ILLINOIS 82.5, OPPONENT 59.4 – (Rating = 2*).
Play Against – Road teams as an underdog or pick (WISCONSIN) – excellent team – shooting >=45% with a defense of <=42% on the season against opponent after a game where a team made 50% of their 3 point shots or better. (111-69 over the last 5 seasons.) (61.7%, +35.1 units. Rating = 2*).
The FoxSheets show two highly-rated trends leaning towards the Under on Sunday.
Bo Ryan is 29-9 UNDER (76.3%, +19.1 Units) in road games after a game committing 8 or less turnovers as the coach of WISCONSIN. The average score was WISCONSIN 61.7, OPPONENT 59.0 – (Rating = 4*). Las Vegas odds.
WISCONSIN is 25-8 UNDER (75.8%, +16.2 Units) after allowing 30 points or less in the first half in 2 straight games over the last 3 seasons. The average score was WISCONSIN 62.9, OPPONENT 56.7 – (Rating = 3*).