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Illinois at Michigan Preview and Betting Pick

Illinois at Michigan Preview and Betting Pick

by Ryan BurksMarch 2, 2021
The long-awaited matchup in the Big Ten Conference will finally happen on Tuesday night when the Michigan Wolverines host the Illinois Fighting Illini. Both teams are currently in line for a number 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament, and this could be a potential Final Four preview.

Illinois has won nine of their last 10 games, and they bring a 14-4 conference record into this game. The Fighting Illini will likely finish in second place in the Big Ten, but will be a threat to win the Big Ten Conference Tournament.

Michigan has gone 13-1 so far in Big Ten Conference play, and the Minnesota Golden Gophers are the only team to solve the Wolverines this season. This Michigan team is now the number-two ranked team in the AP poll, and have been blowing teams out all season long.

The Michigan Wolverines are eight-point favorites at home over the Illinois Fighting Illini.

Illinois at Michigan Preview: Illinois Needs Ayo to Shine

If Illinois is going to go to Ann Arbor and pull off this upset then Ayo Dosunmu is going to have to lead the way. Dosunmu has missed the last two games with a facial injury, and it’s unclear if he will even suit up for this game.

The point guard is averaging 21 points and 5.3 assists per game, and he is capable of a triple-double every time out. Dosunmu buried the Wolverines with a last-second shot a season ago, and he is capable of doing the same this season.

Center Kofi Cockburn will also be a key for Illinois in this game, and that is on both ends of the floor. Michigan has a stud freshman center in Hunter Dickinson, but few have been able to match up with Cockburn this season.

Illinois is averaging more than 81 points per game, and they want to play extremely fast. If the Fighting Illini are shooting it well from deep then they will be a huge problem for the Wolverines.

Illinois at Michigan Preview: Michigan Must Protect the Paint

If Michigan is going to win this game then they are going to have to protect the paint. Fortunately for the Wolverines, they are one of the biggest teams in the Big Ten, and that hasn’t been a problem in recent games.

Michigan is allowing just 65 points per game while scoring 78 points per game. The Wolverines have hardly been tested this season, but that might change in this matchup with Illinois.

Freshman center Hunter Dickinson leads the team with 14.8 points per game, and he will be tasked with battling Cockburn in this matchup. Isaiah Livers and Franz Wagner have chipped in with more than 28 combined points per game and they will be tough for Illinois to stop.

Illinois at Michigan Preview: Wolverines Simply Too Tough

Illinois is going to be a massive threat when it comes to the NCAA Tournament, but playing on the road at Michigan is a massive challenge. Throw in the fact that Dosunmu is dealing with a facial injury, and it’s just too hard to see Illinois winning this game.
Juwan Howard has his Michigan team playing some great basketball this season, and their defense will dominate this matchup. The Wolverines will not allow Illinois to get many points in the paint, and that should lead to a low-scoring affair.

These two teams will likely meet up again at some point this season, and a different result could occur. On Tuesday night, Michigan will dominate this matchup and clinch the Big Ten Conference regular-season title.

An eight-point spread is large for a matchup like this, but Michigan will find a way to cover the spread.

Final Score:
Michigan: 74
Illinois: 64

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About The Author
Ryan Burks
Ryan has been writing sports betting content and industry news pieces for more than 3 years. He stays on top of all of the latest industry news as well as providing sports betting strategy articles and opinion pieces. Ryan is a former college basketball player and someone that continues to participate in sports to this day. He is a die-hard fan of the Chicago Cubs and Chicago Blackhawks and also roots for the Fighting Illini. Ryan currently resides in Illinois.