Nelly's Sports - Michigan vs Illinois

Nelly’s B1G Contender Clash 2-0 Thursday

Handicapper
Nelly's Sports
League
NCAAB
Competition
Michigan vs Illinois
Time
01/14/2022 09:00 PM
Bet Type
Point Spread
Pick
Michigan +10 (-110) (William Hill)
Outcome
Loss
Analysis
The struggles for Michigan have been one of the more shocking developments so far this college basketball season. The Wolverines were an elite contender last season earning a #1 seed in the NCAA Tournament and still making the Elite 8 without a key player. Many forecasted the Wolverines for a similar trajectory this season, but Michigan is 7-6 and already 1-2 in Big Ten play. The only conference win for Michigan came against Nebraska at the bottom of the conference while the Wolverines have only one top 100 win all season, beating San Diego State at home. The change in valuation at this point has been severe with tonight’s price approaching double-digits in a battle of last season’s top two teams in the Big Ten standings. Illinois overcame some early hurdles and is now 12-3 including 5-0 in Big Ten play but the conference path so far has been incredibly light, with only a four-point win at Iowa standing out. That is the only top 50 win all season for Illinois as the Illini are not at last year’s pace either despite the illusion built in a 10-1 run since starting 2-2. Illinois won the only meeting last season in a blowout at Michigan 76-53 last March, but Illinois is now favored by a similar price hosting Michigan as they were against Rutgers and Maryland in Champaign earlier this season. Michigan still has a top 25 offensive efficiency team with elite interior scoring and a top 30 ranking in 3-point defense this season. Michigan has also now had 10 days off to prepare for one of the biggest games of the season while riding back-to-back humiliating losses as this is a clear play-up opportunity on a devalued group. Kofi Cockburn is the key to the dominance for Illinois, but he will face a far tougher pairing tonight and Illinois remains rather reliant on 3-point shooting with the current nearly 39 percent clip unlikely to be matched against a Michigan team allowing only 29 percent from long-range. A leap of faith is required to support Juwan Howard’s team tonight, but the pricing angle is difficult to ignore given that Michigan was -8.5 hosting Illinois last March and this line is at least triple what it would have been even just a few weeks ago. Thank you for playing with Nelly’s and Best of Luck.

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