Illinois vs. Minnesota College Basketball Odds

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Published on:
Feb/10/2011
College Basketball

Illinois vs. Minnesota College Basketball odds were set at Golden Gophers -1.5 with a total of 136 at Sportsbook.com.

Two losing streaks, two teams, going in one very wrong direction at the worst time of the season. As the Minnesota Golden Gophers enter play Thursday night, Tubby Smith’s squad will be looking to slam the brakes on a three-game losing streak that, if extended, threatens to drop them out of the Top 25 (in Coaches Poll) and plunge them two games below .500 in the difficult-to-recover Big Ten. Bruce Weber’s Fighting Illini have lost five out of its past seven overall, including four straight on the road, and have already fallen out of the Top 25 in both polls. If desperation were like electricity, these two teams could generate enough power to light the state of Minnesota. Thursday night in Williams Arena, they’ll try to light up each other, as they each attempt to secure a much-needed win.


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The Gophers are coming off a physical 82-69 loss Sunday to the undefeated, number one-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes. Jared “Big Sully” Sullinger poured in 18 points and hauled down 13 boards in the win. While Sullinger had his way with the Gopher big men inside, it is the absence of senior point guard Al Nolen with a broken foot that parallels Minnesota’s untimely February slide. Nolen’s injury has forced guard Blake Hoffarber to play out of position, where he struggled on Sunday, committing four turnovers to go with three assists and 16 points. Hoffarber ended the game with a sore left knee, but Smith expects his leading scorer to be cleared to play against the Illini. Nolen’s absence aside, the Gophers big men have failed to perform adequately in the paint, and Sunday was no exception. Smith praised the performance of freshmen Chip Armelin and Maverick Ahanmisi, but junior forwards Colton Iverson, Ralph Sampson III and Trevor Mbakwe combined for 12 turnovers in-and-around the paint. Iverson didn't score and had four fouls in 14 minutes. "If our post men are going to turn the ball over 12 times, and that's where our strength was, I don't know what to do," Smith said. Second leading scorer Mbakwe (13.0 PPG, 10.3 RPG) has failed to reach double figures in scoring the past two games.

Winning the tight ones has been a problem of late for the Illini. Among Illinois’ past five losses, three have come by three points or less, and the home defeat to Ohio State on Jan. 22 was by only five points. Against Northwestern Saturday, Illinois’ top two rebounders, Mike Tisdale (6.8 RPG) and Mike Davis (6.7 RPG) were a combined 5-of-15 shooting with just nine rebounds. Top scorer Demetri McCamey (14.3 PPG, 6.7 APG) is mired in a horrible offensive slump, averaging just 9.2 PPG on 14-of-48 shooting (29.2%) in his past five games. Coach Weber will need some much-improved efforts from his trio of seniors McCamey, Tisdale and Davis if the Illini are to break the four-game road losing streak and slow down this late-season spiral. With two games left on their schedule against Purdue, and contests at Ohio State and at Michigan State still to come, the road ahead is looking treacherous for an Illini squad (15-8, 5-5) that were snubbed from the NCAA Tournament last year despite a 10-8 conference record.

Sportsbook.com just put up a couple props on “Will Ohio St. Go undefeated during the regular season (the No is 1/5 and yes is 3/1) & another one including the postseason. The Madness has begun already at Sportsbook.com and its not even March.

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