15* Illinois/Michigan State ESPN No-Brainer on Illinois +8.5
Illinois vs. Michigan State,
01/31/2013 19:00 EDT,
Score: 75 - 80
Point Spread: +8½/-105 Illinois
Sure, the Illini have struggled of late, but that gets factored into the odds as well. Now, the books are asking Michigan State to win by nearly double-digits to beat you if you bet Illinois, so the value is certainly with the road underdog in this one.
Remember, this is the same Illinois team that beat Ohio State, Gonzaga and Butler all by double-digits en route to its 13-1 start. Take a look at the AP Poll and you will find all three of those powerhouses ranked inside the Top 11.
Each of Michigan State’s last five wins has come by 10 points or less. That 10-point victory was a home win over Nebraska, which is far from impressive. So, of their six conference wins, only one has come by more than 10 points.
This has been a very closely-contested series throughout the years. In fact, all 14 meetings dating back to 2006 have been decided by 10 points or less. That makes it even more tempting to grab the points on the road underdog Illini in this one.
This play falls into a system that is 43-14 (75.4%) ATS over the last 5 seasons. It tells us to bet on an underdog (ILLINOIS) - after being beaten by the spread by 48 or more points total in their last ten games, in January games.
Illinois is 4-0-1 ATS in its last 5 meetings with Michigan State. The underdog is 5-1-1 ATS in the last 7 meetings. The Illini are 6-2-1 ATS in the last 9 meetings in Michigan St. Take Illinois Thursday.