Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 12:30 PM EST.
7:00 PM EST. The Scarlet Knights have lost three straight, including a 60-43 decision at Penn State on Saturday. Although Rutgers was defeated by double digits, it wasn't all bad. The Knights held the Nittany Lions to 17 points below their season scoring average but that stellar defensive play was overshadowed by a cold night for an offense that could only muster shooting a measly 31.4% from the field. A correction is likely coming, as the worst shooting team in the NCAA, Coppin State, still manages to drain at least 35.3% of its shots.
Illinois is coming off a 73-71 home victory over Indiana, but do not let one positive result or the recent hype around freshman Trent Frazier cloud your perception of the worst team in the Big Ten. Before getting the W over the Hoosiers, the Fighting Illini dropped six straight games in-conference including double-digit losses to Michigan State, Wisconsin, Michigan and Minnesota.
Spotting points with bad basketball teams is a dangerous game and the Illini are not the exception to the rule. In its last three games as the betting favorite, Illinois is 0-3 against the number, but that win over Indiana last time out is by far the most positive result either one of these programs has had in quite some time. In a "what have you done for me lately" market, a big win over a somewhat credible program is going to carry some weight. Illinois looks like the more trustworthy program tonight but that is just not the case. Rutgers is capable of winning this game outright, as it takes a big step down in competition after games against PSU, Nebraska and Michigan. The last time the Scarlet Knights played a Big Ten bottom feeder like Illinois, they whacked Iowa 80-64. A similar result is not out of the question tonight and the points offered are the icing on the cake.
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#539 Rutgers +6½ -106 (Risking 2.12 units - To Win: 2.00)