Illinois Fighting Illini vs. Northwestern Wildcats 1/24/24

Illinois Fighting Illini vs. Northwestern Wildcats 1/24/24 NCAA Men’s Basketball Best Picks, Analysis, and Preview

Illinois Fighting Illini (13-4) vs. Northwestern Wildcats (13-5) 


Illinois Fighting Illini vs. Northwestern Wildcats 1/24/24 – As the NCAA Men’s Basketball season continues its enthralling journey, a captivating match-up awaits basketball enthusiasts. The Illinois Fighting Illini, boasting a solid 13-4 record, are set to clash with the equally formidable Northwestern Wildcats, who hold an impressive 13-5 standing. This encounter, scheduled for Wednesday, is not just a battle for supremacy but also a treat for those seeking free college basketball picks


Illinois Fighting Illini have been one of the top teams this season. Their offense is an outstanding force, averaging 82.1 points per game on average thanks to efficient shooting (46.7% field goal percentage and 34.4% three-point percentage). Furthermore, the Illini are dominating on the boards as they capture an average of 42.9 rebounds per game – including strong offensive rebounding presence! Their defense isn’t far behind either with an impressive average of 4.5 steals and 4.4 blocks per game making them a formidable team!


Northwestern Wildcats should not be underestimated despite having a slightly inferior win-loss record than Illinois; they average 72.7 points per game with an impressive 46.3% field goal percentage and 36.3% three-point shooting efficiency; moreover, Illinois outperformed Northwestern in three-point shooting efficiency (36.3%), three steals, blocks and steals per game while Northwestern lagged behind Illinois with 30.2 rebounding average per game which could prove crucial in this match-up.


Illinois Fighting Illini vs. Northwestern Wildcats 1/24/24 Game Info


When: Wednesday, January 24, 2024 at 9:00 PM ET
Where: Welsh-Ryan Arena
Stream: Sofascore


Terrence Shannon Jr. (Guard) vs. Boo Buie (Guard)


In his 11 games played, Terrence Shannon Jr. is averaging 33 minutes a night while posting 21.7 points on efficient 51.4% shooting. He chips in 4.5 rebounds and 2.5 assists as well. Shannon excels at attacking the rim, with his athletic 6’6″ frame posing a difficult matchup, reflected by his 7.6 free throw attempts per contest. While he doesn’t take many 3-pointers, Shannon shoots a solid 77.1% from the charity stripe. His 1.3 blocks per game indicate his versatility on defense too. However, Shannon’s 2.4 turnovers per game show his one area for improvement.


Boo Buie has started all 18 games for the Wildcats, playing heavy minutes at 35.7 per game. The senior guard leads the team with 17.9 points while shooting 43.3% from the field and 34.3% from deep. An exceptional distributor, Buie also tops Northwestern with 5.2 assists using craftiness to create offense. He chips in 3.3 rebounds and 1.3 steals as well, showcasing his all-around impact. However, Buie’s 2.3 turnovers per game have been higher than his career rate. He’ll need to value possessions against a scrappy Illinois defense.


This matchup features two of the Big Ten’s premier guards. Both Shannon and Buie can score at all three levels while also playing a facilitator role. Turnovers and defensive consistency may end up deciding this clash of styles.


NCAAB Odds/Point Spread: TBD, Total Odds: TBD


The betting odds, currently undisclosed, will play a crucial role for those eyeing this match-up. With both teams exhibiting strengths in different areas, the spread and total will be critical in determining the betting strategy.


Illinois Fighting Illini Betting Trends


The Illini are 3-1 against the spread (ATS) over their last 5 games. They also boast a sterling 5-0 ATS record on the road this season. With Illinois slotted as short favorites in a high projected scoring affair, these trends bode well.


Northwestern Wildcats Betting Trends


Northwestern has disappointed bettors recently with a 2-3 ATS record over their past 5 contests. Moreover, the totals have gone OVER in 5 of the Wildcats’ last 5 matchups. Facing an Illinois squad seeing high totals as well, Northwestern’s poor defense could lead this game to exceed 141 points.


Illinois Fighting Illini vs. Northwestern Wildcats 1/24/24 Betting Picks


Considering the statistical analysis and betting trends, this game promises to be a close and high-scoring affair. Illinois, with their robust offensive and defensive stats, particularly their road game prowess, seem to have a slight edge. However, Northwestern’s home game strength and efficiency from the three-point line cannot be overlooked.


In terms of betting picks, while Illinois might be the safer pick, Northwestern’s potential to upset, especially with their home advantage, makes this a tricky decision. Prop bets on individual player performances, especially on key players like Shannon and Buie, could offer value. As for the over/under, considering both teams’ recent trends, betting on a high total seems prudent. This matchup, rich in top handicapper insights, is poised to be an exhilarating contest.


Free Pick and Prediction: Illinois Fighting Illini 78, Northwestern Wildcats 74


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