The Fighting Illini and Wildcats are set to face off at 9:00 ET on BTN. The Wildcats will host the game at Welsh-Ryan Arena in Evanston, IL. Illinois come into this Big Ten conference matchup as the -3.5 favorite. The over/under line currently sits at 147 points.


The Pick: Northwestern Wildcats +3.5

This game will be played at Welsh-Ryan Arena at 9:00 ET on Wednesday, January 24th.


  • We have this one finishing with a projected score of 75-68 in favor of the Wildcats.
  • Not only will Northwestern pick up the win, but look for them to cover at +3.5.
  • The over/under is currently sitting at 147 points, and we like the under with a projected 143 points.

Can the Fighting Illini Lock in a Road Win?

Illinois comes into this game as the favorite, as they have been in 14 of their 18 games this season. So far, they have gone 12-2 when favored. They are also 3-2 on the road this season, and their average scoring margin on the road is +9.0 points per game.

Overall, the Fighting Illini have a record of 14-4, and they have won two games in a row. In their most recent game, they defeated Rutgers by a score of 86-63. In Big Ten play, they are 5-2, compared to 9-2 in non-conference action.

Illinois has been solid against the spread this season, going 10-6-2. They have been even better on the road, going 4-0-1 vs. the spread. Over their last 10 games as the favorite, the Fighting Illini have gone 7-2-1 vs. the spread.

Illinois’ over/under record this season is 11-7 and the average scoring total in their games is 149.8 points. Today’s over/under line of 147 is lower than the average OU line in their games (146.6). Their last three games have averaged 150 points compared to a season average of 149.8 points per game.

Illinois’ offense had a good outing, putting up 86 points against Rutgers. They achieved a 50.8% field goal percentage and went 16/27 from the free-throw line. On the offensive front, the Fighting Illini have a season-long field goal percentage of 46%, ranking 92nd nationally. When it comes to three-point shooting, they are ranked 198th in terms of percentage and 99th in three-pointers made.

So far, the Fighting Illini’s defense is ranked 72nd in the country at 67.5 points per contest. In today’s game vs. Northwestern, the Illinois defense will be looking to do a better job avoiding putting opponents on the line. In their last game, Illinois made 16 free-throws vs. the Fighting Illini.

Will Northwestern Come Through as Home Underdogs?

Northwestern will be looking to bounce back from their loss to Nebraska, which dropped their overall record to 13-5. They have been excellent at home this season, going 11-1, with an average scoring margin of +11.2 points per game.

So far, the Wildcats have been the underdog in six games, going 2-4 in those contests. They have also been the underdog in two straight games, and they have gone 4-1 in their last five home games.

As the underdog, Northwestern has an ATS record of just 2-4 this season. However, at home, the Wildcats have been solid vs. the spread, going 6-5-1. Over their last 10 games as the underdog, Northwestern is 5-5 ATS.

On the season, the over/under record for Northwestern games is 11-7. So far, the average scoring total in their games is 140.2 points, which is higher than the average over/under line of 136.2 points. Today’s over/under line of 147 is higher than the average scoring total in their games. In their last three games, the over/under record is 3-0 and the average scoring total is 139 points.

In their latest game, Northwestern offense put up 69 points against Nebraska. They recorded an overall field goal percentage of 38.1% and made 10 threes. The top scorer for the Wildcats was Brooks Barnhizer with 24 points, while Ryan Langborg also chipped in with 15 points.

So far this season, the Northwestern defense has been performing well, ranking 70th in the country at 67.4 points allowed per contest. So far, the Northwestern defense is giving up an average of 7.4 offensive rebounds per game and are turning teams over 8.5 times per game (355th).