Purdue Boilermakers vs. Illinois Fighting Illini Pick & Odds: January 19th 2010
Big Ten betting action revs up again Tuesday night from Champagne, where the Purdue Boilermakers (14-3, 7-9-1 ATS) will look to snap a three game losing streak at the expense of the Illinois Fighting Illini (12-6, 6-11 ATS). Purdue’s 72-64 loss in Evanston on Saturday was yet another shocking result for a team that jumped out of the blocks at 14-0 and looked to be unstoppable just two weeks ago. As for Illinois, it has gotten off to a 4-1 start in conference play, but that one loss came on Saturday at Michigan State 73-63.
Purdue is led by one of the best trio of juniors in the nation. There isn’t much of anything that F Robbie Hummel, F JaJuan Johnson, and G E’Twaun Moore can’t do. The three are combining to score 47.3 of the Boilers’ 76.0 points per game. If there’s one Achilles heel for the #6 team in the land, it’s that its threats from the outside just aren’t clicking yet on the year. The Boilermakers are connecting on just 31.0% of their three-point field goal attempts, and no one on the team is shooting better than 35% from beyond the arc.
HC Bruce Weber’s team hasn’t won an NCAA Tournament game since 2006, and he has to be wondering whether the Illini are going to get a chance to snap that streak this year or not. Illinois didn’t build up a fantastic out-of-conference resume (though wins against Vanderbilt and Clemson are looking better by the day), so it will have to perform better in Big Ten play to make the dance. Offensive production hasn’t been the problem for the Illini, as they are scoring 75.0 points per game. The issue has been a sputtering defense, which has conceded at least 70 points in eight of its L/13 games. Keep an eye on G Demetri McCamey, who is leading the squad in both points per game (14.8) and assists per game (5.8).
The last time that these two squads met in NCAA basketball betting action, Purdue knocked off the Illini 66-56. Illinois had both won and covered the previous three meetings though, which should give it the confidence needed to extend the woes of the Boilermakers. The Illini’s perfect 10-0 SU home mark will be on the line in this one.
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