The UNLV Runnin Rebels (7-2) and the Illinois Fighting Illini (7-3) clash at MGM Grand. Action starts at 12 a.m. ET on Saturday, December 9, 2017, and it can be seen on ESPN2.
Illinois Fighting Illini vs. UNLV Runnin Rebels Odds Preview
In the Fighting Illinis last matchup, they defeated the Austin Peay Governors, 64-57. Michael Finke was the top scorer from either team with 17 points on 7-for-12 shooting. The Fighting Illini made 20 of their 28 free throws (71.4 percent) and had an offensive rebounding percentage of 42.9 (above their season average of 34.8).
The Runnin Rebels come in on a high note after blowing out the Oral Roberts Golden Eagles in their last contest, 92-66. UNLV rallied around Shakur Juiston, who led the team in scoring with 19 points on 9-for-12 shooting. UNLV dominated nearly every facet of the game. They had a phenomenal free throw rate of 0.322 (above their season average of 0.272) and an effective field goal percentage of 0.619 (above their season average of 0.558). Oral Roberts was 0.135 and 0.378, respectively, for those same stats.
This matchup pits one of the NCAAs top offenses against one of its elite defenses. Since the 2016-17 season, UNLV ranks 20th in offensive efficiency and Illinois ranks 15th in defensive efficiency. Also, the Fighting Illini have been among the NCAAs elite at getting to the line, ranking seventh in free throw attempt (FTA) rate (0.243). The Runnin Rebels, however, rank 28th at keeping opponents off the charity stripe with an opponents FTA rate of 0.195.
Illinois Fighting Illini vs. UNLV Runnin Rebels ATS Prediction
Predictions: SU Winner – Illinois, ATS Winner – Illinois, O/U – Over
Betting Notes (2016-Present):
- The Fighting Illini rank 148th in three pointers attempted per game (21.1) while the Runnin Rebels rank 287th (20.1).
- UNLV ranks second in assists per game (14.5) while Illinois ranks 74th (13.8).
- UNLV ranks 41st in blocks per game (3.1) while Illinois ranks 245th (2.4).
- The Fighting Illini average 6.2 steals per game, which ranks 22nd in the nation. The Runnin Rebels rank 225th in steals allowed per game (6.3).
- Illinois ranks 38th in rebounds allowed per game (33.0) while UNLV ranks 214th (37.6).