Maryland (18-4) at Illinois (16-6)
When: Friday, February 7th, 2020
Where: State Farm Center,
Time: 8:00 ET | TV: FS1
Opening Odds: Illinois -2/131
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At this point on the College Basketball calendar, not many people expected both the Maryland Terrapins and Illinois Fighting Illini to be battling for first place in the Big Ten. Well, that’s exactly what we have Friday night at State Farm Center in Champagne, Illinois, as both teams sit at the top of the standings at 8-3, one-half game ahead of preseason favorite Michigan State. The 21st-ranked Illini had won seven in a row before a 72-65 road loss at Iowa on Sunday. Illinois had won their previous three road contests as underdogs of 4.5-6 points, but allowed the Hawkeyes to shoot 50 percent from the field. Maryland is on a roll with five straight victories, but couldn’t cover the spread in their last one, a 56-51 home win over Rutgers and this will be the Terps first road game against a ranked opponent. Friday will mark two months to the day from when Maryland and Illinois first met on Dec. 7. The Illini came to College Park to face then-No. 3-ranked Maryland to kick off Big Ten play and gave them all they could handle in a 59-58 Terrapins victory. Maryland trailed by 14 points at halftime, but the late rally fell short. Illinois has covered each of the last three meetings despite going 1-2 SU in that span.
Maryland is led by their defense, which ranks 25th in the country in points allowed (61.7) and 19th in defensive field goal percentage (38.4). The Terps have held two of their opponents in their current winning streak to 50 and 51 points, but did all Iowa and Indiana to eclipse 70. Leading scorer Anthony Cowan, Jr. (16.3) led the way with 17 points in Tuesday’s victory over the Scarlet Knights despite making just 3-of-9 from the field. Cowan was able to convert 8-of-9 from the free throw line as part of the team’s 12-of-15 effort. Forward Jalen Smith recorded his fifth-straight double-double with 14 points and 15 rebounds to go along with six blocked shots. Maryland will host lowly Nebraska next Tuesday.
The Illini have been the surprise of the conference this season, picked to finish around sixth and have been doing it with defense. Prior to the 72-65 loss at Iowa, Illinois had allowed 62 points or less in the previous three contests and own one of the best rebounding margins in the country. Reserve guard Andres Feliz has been a big boost on offense recently, collecting 17 points in each of his last two games and that total led the team in Sunday’s loss. Leading scorer Ayo Dosunmu (15.8) has scored below his average in each of the last two games and has turned the ball over seven times in the last three games.
The Terps are just 2-4 in true road games this season and this is their first against a ranked team. Illinois has been terrific at home and this is a nice small number to lay.
Pick: Illinois -2
Terrapins are 4-1-1 ATS in their last 6 games overall.
Terrapins are 3-1-1 ATS in their last 5 games vs. a team with a winning straight up record.
Terrapins are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games following a straight up win.
Terrapins are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games as a favorite.
Terrapins are 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games as a road favorite.
Terrapins are 1-3-1 ATS in their last 5 games following a ATS loss.
Terrapins are 1-3-1 ATS in their last 5 road games vs. a team with a winning home record.
Fighting Illini are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games following a straight up loss.
Fighting Illini are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games following a ATS loss.
Fighting Illini are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games vs. a team with a winning straight up record.
Fighting Illini are 2-5 ATS in their last 7 home games vs. a team with a winning road record.
Under is 9-3 in Terrapins last 12 games as a favorite.
Under is 5-2 in Terrapins last 7 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600.
Over is 5-1 in Fighting Illini last 6 home games vs. a team with a winning road record.
Under is 4-1 in Fighting Illini last 5 games following a straight up loss.
Under is 9-3 in Fighting Illini last 12 games as an underdog.
Under is 27-10-1 in Fighting Illini last 38 Friday games.
Under is 10-4 in Fighting Illini last 14 overall.
Under is 5-2 in Fighting Illini last 7 home games.
Under is 39-19 in Fighting Illini last 58 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600.
Underdog is 4-0 ATS in the last 4 meetings.