Michigan vs. Illinois: Betting Odds, Picks, and Predictions (1/14/22)

Michigan vs. Illinois Betting Odds

On a relatively stale Friday night in college hoops, we get one standalone power conference game at 9 p.m.

The Wolverines will travel to Champaign after an underwhelming beginning to the season. And unfortunately, they’re playing an Illini team that’s on a heater.

Michigan is catching a ton of points in this matchup, and the Wolverines are certainly an intriguing buy-low team. However, can we trust Juwan Howard and Co. after this recent stretch?

Michigan Wolverines Odds

As stated, Michigan was ranked as high as No. 4 but has been a disappointment since. The Wolverines have lost 3 of their last 4, including a doozie against a Rutgers team that led wire-to-wire.

The Wolverines are just 7-6 and have just one KenPom top-120 win.

What’s gone wrong for the Wolverines so far?

Well, Michigan got a COVID break. The Wolverine’s last two games were postponed and they haven’t played in 10 days. Power Rankings has this team ranked No. 78 despite showing they can perform at even a lower level.

With that being said, this Michigan team is well-coached and full of talent.

Could the early woes just be shaking off the rust of the off-season? Or will Michigan continue to fall and be nowhere to be seen by the time March rolls around?

Illinois Fighting Illini Odds

Illinois is rolling after a slow 2-2 start. The Illini are on a dominant five-game winning streak, winning every game by double digits. This charge also has led Illini to the top of the Big Ten.

7-foot Junior Kofi Cockburn leads the team in points (22) and rebounds (12.5), making double-doubles a common occurrence. Alongside Alfonso Plummer, Trent Frazier has started to get hot, putting up 29 points, five assists, and four steals in the last matchup.

Illini is 8-7 ATS this season, and it almost covered every game of the win streak before falling a few points short of the mark against Nebraska.

This team is looking to not only continue their run but also carry momentum into a big showdown against Purdue on Monday.

Michigan vs. Illinois Prediction and Pick

My pick: Michigan +9.5 (-105 at DraftKings)

This is a showdown of two teams going in opposite directions. The Illini are heating up while Michigan is still figuring it out.

However, like so many games in college basketball, this comes down to history.

Of the 128 matchups these two have had, Illinois only leads by two games. Match that with the Illini tendencies to not cover when being over 8.5 point favorites, I lean towards Michigan.

Plus, Michigan has been given a 10-day break when they needed it most, they have the players, the talent, and the coach to use that time and show the Wolverines are better than its recent performance.

I would tread lightly, but if you get better than +9.5, I’d bet Michigan. They should come out firing and desperate for a win. And the incredibly savvy Juwan Howard will have a game plan for Cockburn and the rest of the Fighting Illini.

Tanner joined Lineups to cover everything, but he has vast experience in, and unlimited passion for, Major League Baseball and NCAA Basketball. He’s a McGill University grad and former (Canadian) Division-I alpine ski racer who now spends his time drinking beer and betting home underdogs. Patrick Mahomes is a poor man’s Tom Brady.

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