The sixth-ranked Illinois Fighting Illini’ will look to build on their statement-making win the last time out when they hit the road to take on unbeaten rival Missouri in their annual Braggin’ Rights showdown on Sunday. This year’s matchup will be held in on Missouri’s Columbia, Mo. campus instead of usual St. Louis location due to concerns revolving around the COVID-19 pandemic. This year, Tigers won a virtual coin flip and now this one will go down at Mizzou Arena with no fans present. Let’s take a closer look at both teams so you can bet against their College Basketball odds.
NCAA Basketball Betting Predictions – No. 6 Illinois at Missouri
Illinois Fighting Illini (4-1) Vs Missouri Tigers (4-0)
- When: Saturday, December 12, 2020 at 8:00 PM ET
- Where: Mizzou Arena
- NCAAB Odds: OFF
Why Bet On Illinois
The best reasons to bet on Illinois is because they seriously look like the real deal this season, particularly following their stunning 83-68 beat-down of the 10th-ranked Duke Blue Devils on Tuesday night in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. Illinois bounced back from its own humbling smackdown after falling to No. 2 Baylor 82-69 last week.
“It was one of those games because a lot of talk was with us in the preseason — you know, this and that — and we came out and had two great opportunities to play two really great teams,” Dosunmu said. “We accepted the challenge, we came in and played well.”
Illinois is averaging a stellar 89.6 points per game (22nd) on 54.0 percent shooting from the field and an insane 47.3 percent from three-point distance. Now, the Fighting Illini’ will look to snap a two-game losing streak against Mizzou.
“We have a very hungry Missouri team who’s been playing great,” Illinois All-American guard Ayo Dosunmu (22.6 ppg) said. “We owe them one, definitely.”
In addition to their All-American superstar, Illinois has a 7-foot, 285-pound behemoth in Kofi Cockburn (13.0 points, 9.4 rebounds per game) and a bruising power forward in6-9, 240-pound Giorgi Bezhanishvili (8.0, 4.2).
“Giorgi’s playing absolutely phenomenal and we need him on the floor,” Illini coach Brad Underwood said. “We see all of Giorgi’s tools, and here is throwing a lob pass against the press. He’s such a good passer. He’s scoring in the post. He’s playing with tremendous confidence. I love him defensively right now because he’s talking and he’s energetic, and we’re a better team on the defensive side when he’s out there.”
Why Bet On Missouri
One game after stunning Wichita State, Missouri got past Liberty 69-60 on Wednesday night. The Tigers are putting up 78.8 points per game (100th) while limiting the opposition to just 64.6 points per game defensively (86th).
“Obviously, the Illinois game is going to be exciting, a lot of intensity,” said Missouri guard Mark Smith, who played his freshman year with the Illini before transferring. “But I just think we’re going in ready, to keep it moving.”
Smith averages a team-high 17.2 points per game while backcourt mate Dru Smith averages 13.8 points per game and a third guard, Xavier Pinson is adding 13.5 points per contest.
Missouri also recorded another huge win by taking down Oregon 83-75 on Dec. 2 and now, the Tigers are motivated.
Expert Analysis and Prediction
In order for Missouri to win this matchup, the Tigers are going to have to find a way to stop Ayo Dosunmu. Unfortunately, I just don’t see that happening, seeing as how no one has really been able to accomplish that feat this season.
Dosunmu is shooting a stellar 50.6 percent from the field and 42.1 percent from three-point distance. When he’s not scoring the rock, he’s dishing out 6.0 assists per game game while pulling down a whopping 8.2 boards per contest. Illinois also has a pair of big men that should be able to have their way against a clearly guard-driven Missouri team. I like the Fighting Illini’ to get it done in this one!
Pick: Illinois 81 Missouri 75
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