4* Big Ten SMASH (ESPN)
Michigan State vs. Illinois,
01/31/2012 19:00 EDT,
Score: 41 - 42
Point Spread: +2/-110 Illinois
4* Big Ten SMASH (ESPN) on Illinois +2
Motivated by 3 straight narrow defeats, expect Illinois to come out on top tonight at home, where it is 11-1 on the season.
Michigan State is a quality team but hasn't looked nearly as dominant away from home, where it has lost its last 2 to Northwestern and Michigan.
Illinois' last 3 losses have come by 5 points or less and the 5-point loss (at Minnesota) came in OT. The fact Illinois played Missouri to a 4-point game and defeated Ohio State (2 of the best teams in the country) tells me it can certainly win tonight's contest.
Illinois has won its last 2 SU and ATS at home in this series. It is also 8-4 SU and 9-3 ATS in its last 12 at home against the Spartans.
The Spartans are 0-6 ATS in their last 6 games as a road favorite of 6.5 points or less and 0-3-1 ATS in the last 4 meetings with Illinois.
Lastly, Illinois is 6-0 ATS all-time under coach Weber when checking into a game off 3 straight losses against conference rivals. The Illini have won by an average score of 68.3 to 57.8 in this situation. Take Illinois.