Bet Miami Home Cover vs. Illinois for ACC/Big Ten Challenge

Jeff Grant

Tuesday, December 2, 2014 3:36 PM UTC

Tuesday, Dec. 2, 2014 3:36 PM UTC

A pair of transfer guards has made Miami a dangerous team, which makes it a worthwhile pick in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge against Illinois Tuesday night.

A More Challenging Month
Illinois moves past its 32-game win streak in the month of November, which includes a 62-54 victory over the Baylor Bears as 3.5-point neutral-site favorites to capture the Las Vegas Invitational, while going UNDER the betting total for the first time in three opportunities.

The Fighting Illini are aiming to start 7-0 for the third straight year under head coach John Groce, which can’t be ignored when making your NCAA basketball picks, as they look to win their third consecutive road game against a ranked opponent dating back to last year.

Over the last two-plus seasons, the program is 0-3 SU and 1-2 ATS as road underdogs of 3.5 to 6 points, with the UNDER going 3-0 in that situation.


Newcomers Leading the Way
Miami is being led by Texas transfer Sheldon McClellan and former Kansas State guard Angel Rodriguez, which is important to consider when looking over the NCAA basketball odds, as the duo are combining to average 31.6 points per game.

Both players are hitting over 40 percent from beyond the arc, while also knocking down better than 74.1 percent of their trips to the charity stripe.

It’s important to point out that the squad is 10-6 SU and 11-5 ATS versus teams that average 77 or more points per game dating back to the start of the 2012-13 campaign.


It’s a Challenge
The Fighting Illini are 7-8 SU all-time in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge, which includes a 3-3 mark when playing on the road, while the Hurricanes have proven victorious in two of three home games in the event.

Illinois ranks fourth in the country in averaging 90.0 points per game—made possible by sitting behind just 14 teams in knocking down 43.4 percent of its attempts from the three-point area.


Keep the Ball Moving
McClelland and Rodriguez have been instrumental in the Hurricanes averaging 16.1 assists per game on 28.3 field goals per outing—leading to the squad ranking fourth in offensive efficiency.

It’s clear that Miami will need to be great on this side of the court, as the defense will be challenged against a Illinois squad that turns the ball over on just 12.1 percent of its possessions.


I’m going to recommend that readers back the Hurricanes as one of their top NCAA basketball picks, as they’ve gone 3-1 SUATS as home favorites of 3.5 to 6 points in their last four opportunities.

NCAA Basketball Pick:  Miami Hurricanes -4.5 at Bookmaker

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