The Illinois Fighting Illini (8-4) and the New Mexico State Aggies (8-2) square off at United Center. Tip-off is set for 8 p.m. ET on Saturday, December 16, 2017.
New Mexico State Aggies vs. Illinois Fighting Illini ATS Preview
In the Aggies last contest, they won big over the Eastern New Mexico Greyhounds, 84-62. With 10 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists, Jemerrio Jones led the way for New Mexico State with his zeroth triple-double of the year. New Mexico State played a flawless game. They had a free throw rate of 0.241 (above their season average of 0.192) and an effective field goal percentage of 0.657 (above their season average of 0.518). For those same stats, Eastern New Mexico had marks of 0.123 and 0.482, respectively.
The Fighting Illini hope to maintain momentum after thoroughly outplaying the Longwood Lancers in their last contest, 92-45. With 22 points on 8-for-15 shooting, Aaron Jordan was the games leading scorer. Illinois dominated every facet of the game. They had a turnover percentage of 11.7 (better than their season average of 17.2) and an offensive rebounding percentage of 64.3 (above their season average of 36.2). For those same stats, Longwood recorded marks of 31.6 and 24.2, respectively.
Opposite tempos will be on display in this showdown. Illinois has preferred a fast-breaking style of play (24th in possessions per game), while New Mexico State has been more half-court-oriented (236th in possessions per game).
Both of these teams tend to go under the O/U total. Games featuring New Mexico State have gone under 100.0 percent of the time, while Illinois games have gone under 66.7 percent of the time. The Aggies have the superior straight up (SU) record (8-2 vs. 8-4), but the Fighting Illini hold the clear advantage against the spread (ATS) (5-4 vs. 1-1).
New Mexico State Aggies vs. Illinois Fighting Illini ATS Prediction
Predictions: SU Winner – Illinois, ATS Winner – New Mexico State, O/U – Under
- The Fighting Illini rank 13th in three pointers allowed per game (16.8) while the Aggies rank 57th (22.0).
- New Mexico State allows the 10th-fewest assists per game (9.1) while Illinois ranks 21st (10.8).
- Illinois ranks 25th in steals per game (8.3) while New Mexico State ranks 195th (5.1).
- The Aggies rank fourth in blocks allowed per game (1.0) while the Fighting Illini rank 125th (3.6).
- New Mexico State ranks 36th in rebounds per game (40.8) while Illinois ranks 85th (37.8).
- The Fighting Illini’s average margin of victory in their last five games has been 8.4, down from 13.2 for the season.
- During their last five games, the Aggies have scored an average of 71.6 points per game (3.3 below their season average) and allowed an average of 61.2 points per game (3.6 below their season average).