Big 10 foes will battle when the Nebraska Cornhuskers (12-7, 3-3 Big 10) challenge the Illinois Fighting Illini (10-8, 0-5 Big 10) at Pinnacle Bank Arena. The games Over/Under (O/U) has been set at 144.5 points with Nebraska opening as a 5-point favorite. Action starts at 9 p.m. ET on Monday, January 15, 2018.
Illinois Fighting Illini at Nebraska Cornhuskers Free Preview
The Fighting Illini lost to the Iowa Hawkeyes in their last contest, 104-97. Illinois Trent Frazier had a good performance, leading the team in scoring with 27 points on 10-for-20 shooting. Iowa did a terrific job of making free throws (33-40; 82.5 percent). Illinois, meanwhile, had a better turnover percentage (14.9 vs. 17.2).
In the Cornhuskers last game, they were topped by the Penn State Nittany Lions, 76-74. Isaac Copeland was Nebraska’s high scorer with 21 points on 7-for-13 shooting. Penn State held the Cornhuskers to an offensive rebounding percentage of 24.4 (below their season average of 30.6). Nebraska, meanwhile, had a turnover percentage of 8.2 (better than their season average of 14.5).
Based on each teams statistical profile, ball security could play a significant role in this contest. Nebraska commits the 36th-fewest miscues in the NCAA (turnover percentage of 16.5 percent), while the disruptive defense of Illinois forces the fifth-most (opponents turnover percentage of 25.0 percent). Moreover, the Fighting Illini, who rank eighth in offensive rebounding percentage (37.4 percent), will attempt to take advantage of the Cornhuskers, who rank 328th in defensive rebounding percentage (65.9 percent).
Both of these teams tend to go under the projected point total. Games featuring Illinois have gone under 64.3 percent of the time, while Nebraska games have finished under 64.7 percent of the time. The Cornhuskers come into this game with a significant advantage in both straight up (SU) and against the spread (ATS) records. They are 12-7 SU and 12-5 ATS, while the Fighting Illini are 10-8 SU and 7-7 ATS.
Copeland has been playing at a high level over the last five games for Nebraska, averaging 13.0 points, 5.2 rebounds and 2.0 blocks per game.
This will be the first matchup of the year between these two teams. The Fighting Illini won the lone contest played against each other last season, 73-57. Illinois was lights out from beyond the arc (13-26; 50.0 percent). Nebraska, meanwhile, had a much better offensive rebounding percentage (29.7 vs. 17.9).
Illinois Fighting Illini at Nebraska Cornhuskers Betting Prediction
Predictions: SU Winner – Illinois, ATS Winner – Illinois, O/U – Under
The Fighting Illini rank 43rd in assists allowed per game (11.6) while the Cornhuskers rank 82nd (12.6).
Illinois is 24th in the nation with 18.3 three pointers allowed per game while Nebraska is 29th with 18.5 three pointers allowed per game.
Illinois is 3-4 ATS on the road, while Nebraska is 7-1 ATS at home.
The Fighting Illini have 5 unders and 2 overs in 7 road games.
The Cornhuskers have 5 unders and 3 overs in 8 home games.
Nebraska ranks 12th in blocks per game (5.9) while Illinois ranks 176th (2.2).
The Fighting Illini rank 81st in rebounds allowed per game (33.6) while the Cornhuskers rank 245th (39.4).
Nebraska ranks 32nd in steals allowed per game (5.2) while Illinois ranks 115th (6.6).
Nebraska is 4-0 ATS with 3 unders and 1 over in their last five games.
Over their last five games, Illinois is 2-2 ATS with 2 overs and 2 unders.
The Cornhuskers average margin of victory in their last five games has been 2.8, down from 3.3 for the season.
During their last five games, the Fighting Illini have scored an average of 73.0 points per game (6.9 below their season average) and allowed an average of 76.4 points per game (4.1 above their season average).