Free NCAA Hoops Pick: Terrapins vs. Fighting Illini CBB Odds
Looking for Maryland Terrapins vs. Illinois Fighting Illini NCAA basketball free picks & CBB odds? CBB betting sees the Terrapins taking on the Fighting Illini on Friday February 7 at the State Farm Center. Cappers Picks provides complimentary expert handicapping picks on all college basketball matchups all season long so stay tuned for more FREE daily basketball predictions like this Terrapins Fighting Illini matchup.
2019-2020 NCAA Basketball
(18-4) Maryland Terrapins vs. Illinois Fighting Illini (16-6)
Date: Friday February 7
Time: 8:00 PM ET
Venue: State Farm Center, Champaign, IL
CBB Moneyline Odds: OFF
CBB Betting Odds: Illinois -3
CBB Betting Total: 133.5
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This should be the highlight of your Friday night.
Thinking about going on a date? Don’t. Thinking about drinking a million beers with your friends? Skip it. Thinking about playing Scrabble with your Grandma? You better not.
Instead, you should make the biggest bet of your life on this Big Ten matchup and enjoy the top two teams in the best conference in basketball go at it for 40 minutes. Winner takes outright first place in the conference.
You can also drink a million beers while watching it, I suppose.
The Terps are on a five-game winning streak, and are 5-1 ATS in their last six. The best win in that span was a one-point road victory at Indiana. Indiana is not a top Big Ten team, but do you know how hard it is to win on the road in the Big Ten? It’s near-impossible.
Anyways, this streak has powered them to a top-10 ranking in the AP Polls. Probably more important, however, is their top-five KenPom adjusted defense ranking.
The Terrapins are insane on the defensive side of the court. They hold their opponents to just a 44.4% effective FG% (22nd in nation), and opponents shoot just 42.5% against them from inside the arc (10th in nation). Overall, they allow just 61.7 points/game and have a DRtg of 90.4.
Sophomore big man Jalen Smith, who generally plays the 5, anchors that tough interior defense by averaging 2.5 blocks per game. He’s also pulling down over 10 boards/game while averaging over 15 points.
But the offensive attack is centered upon their Senior leader, PG Anthony Cowan. Cowan averages 16 points and 4 assists per game on 38/33/77 shooting splits.
Illinois Fighting Illini
Illinois is a good basketball team. They are 7-2 SU since the New Year, hold a top-20 ranking in the AP Polls, and are tied atop the Big Ten.
They are coming off of a road loss against Iowa. However, they’ve also won, and covered, their prior three road games at Michigan, at Purdue, and at Wisconsin. Good teams win, Great teams cover.
Illinois are a well-rounded team who are great at rebounding (8th in the country in offensive rebounding) and play at a very slow pace. Their duo of forwards, Ayo Dosunmu and Kofi Cockburn, are the leaders of this Fighting Illini team. Between the two of them, they average nearly 30 points and 15 boards per game on about 50% from the field.
Probably the one thing to note about this Illinois team: They don’t shoot the deep ball well. Only 29.4% of their shots are from deep, which is 331st in the country, and they only hit them at a 30.3% clip, which is 302nd in the country.
Free Maryland Terrapins vs. Illinois Fighting Illini NCAAB Prediction:
These teams faced off once before this season, an early-December game to open conference play. Illinois held a 15 point lead early in the second half, only for Anthony Cowan to go nuts down the stretch and propel the Terps to a one-point victory. He finished that game with 20/6/6 on 6-14 from the field and 6-7 from the line.
Dosunmu and Kockburn finished with a lousy 18 points on 8-19 shooting. The Fighting Illini scored seven points in the final 10 minutes of action. SEVEN POINTS.
For Maryland to pull off that win, it took: a) A fairly poor game from both of Illinois’ two best players, b) Unbelievable late-game heroics from Cowan, and c) For the game to be played on Maryland’s home court. AND they only won that game by ONE POINT after being down FIFTEEN.
If any one of those three factors went the other way, Illinois would be alone atop the Big Ten right now. And with the way Illinois has been playing lately, and with the game being played on their home court, I don’t think the Fighting Illini blow it again.
4* Free CBB Betting Pick: Illinois -3
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