Pick Michigan to Cover vs. Illinois on the Road

Jeff Grant

Tuesday, March 4, 2014 1:57 PM GMT

Tuesday, Mar. 4, 2014 1:57 PM GMT

The Michigan Wolverines have played well against the Illinois Fighting Illini in recent years, as the two teams prepare to close out their regular-season series Tuesday night. Let’s take a closer look at the NCAA basketball odds for this Big Ten Conference matchup at the State Farm Center, with the opening tip scheduled for 7:00 p.m. ET on ESPN.

Opportunity to clinch

Michigan has won three games in a row, including a 66-56 victory over the Minnesota Golden Gophers as nine-point home favorites last Saturday, as it now aims to clinch its first outright conference title in 28 years.

The Wolverines lead the Big Ten in shooting 47.7 percent from the field and 38.9 percent from beyond the arc.

Over the last two-plus seasons, the program is 40-16 SU and 29-26-1 ATS versus conference rivals.

Things are coming together

Illinois is 3-0 SUATS over its last three games, as it looks to build off a 53-46 victory over the Michigan State Spartans as 12.5-point road underdogs last Saturday, while going UNDER the betting total for a sixth consecutive affair.

The Fighting Illini have held their last four opponents to an average of 48 points, while they’ve knocked down 45.5 percent of their shots from beyond the arc over the course of their current win streak.

College basketball handicappers will find that the team is 4-7 SUATS in March since the 2011-12 campaign.

Stauskas

The Wolverines are definitely a worthy road favorite when looking over the SBR Odds page, considering leading scorer Nik Stauskas is averaging 20.3 points over his last three games.

Michigan has tallied six conference road wins—the most victories of its kind in the John Beilein era.

Series history

The Fighting Illini own a 85-76 SU all-time advantage in this series, but they’ve dropped the last five meetings by an average of 10.4 points.

It’s important to point out that the home team has covered the number in 21 of the last 27 meetings, with the UNDER being on a 4-1 run at this venue.

Prediction

I’m going to recommend that readers back the Wolverines as one of their NCAA basketball picks, as the Fighting Illini are 1-5 ATS in their last six home games.

Pick: Michigan Wolverines -3

[gameodds]14/260149/?r-1=43-19-349/us[/gameodds]

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