Michigan has vaulted to No. 2 in the polls but the stay could be short-lived with a stern test awaiting them from the fourth-ranked Illinois Fighting Illini on Tuesday in Ann Arbor, Mich. Winners of seven in a row, Michigan can clinch the Big Ten Conference title and edge closer to a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament. The Illini are 9-1 in their last 10 to reach their highest ranking since finishing atop the polls at the end of the 2004-05 season. Illinois star guard Ayo Dosunmu is considered day-to-day with a facial injury, and could be a game-time call for this matchup.
Tip-off is at 7 p.m. at Crisler Arena. William Hill Sportsbook lists the Wolverines as 6.5-point favorites while the over-under for total points scored is 145 in the latest Michigan vs. Illinois odds. Before making any Illinois vs. Michigan picks, be sure to see the college basketball predictions and betting advice from SportsLine's proven model.
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- Illinois vs. Michigan: Michigan -6.5
- Illinois vs. Michigan over-under: 145 points
- Illinois vs. Michigan: Michigan -300; Illinois +240
- ILL: The Illini are 6-40 against teams ranked 1-2 and have never beaten one on the road
- MICH: The Wolverines are 6-1 against ranked opponents this season
Why Michigan can cover
Forward Isaiah Livers is averaging 14.5 points and barely trails freshman center Hunter Dickinson (14.8) for the team scoring lead. He has scored 16 points in each of the last two games and pulled down 10 rebounds against Indiana to record his second double-double of the season. Livers is 8 of 12 from behind the arc over the past two games and has knocked down at least three 3-pointers in seven of his last nine games.
Sophomore guard Franz Wagner has tied or set a season high in scoring in three of the past four games to boost his average to 13.3 points. He set a season high with 21 points vs. Iowa on Thursday and matched that two days later against Indiana while also contributing six rebounds and three steals. Wagner is averaging 17.0 points over the past five games while shooting at least 50 percent in each of them.
Why Illinois can cover
Dosunmu, who is averaging a team-best 21.0 points along with 6.3 rebounds and 5.3 assists, reportedly went through shootaround on Tuesday and appears to at least have a chance to take the floor. Guard Andre Curbelo has helped fill the void in the two games missed by Dosunmu, contributing a double-double (10 points, 12 rebounds) vs. Nebraska before scoring 17 points and grabbing seven boards vs. Wisconsin. He was named the Big Ten Freshman of the Week on Monday.
The Illini have the luxury of leaning on their inside game led by Kofi Cockburn. The 7-footer from Jamaica, who is averaging 17.7 points and 9.9 rebounds, is attempting to become the first Illinois player to average a double-double for the season since Nick Weatherspoon in 1973. He has registered 15 double-doubles on the season to rank second in the NCAA and is shooting 66.8 percent from the floor.
How to make Illinois vs. Michigan picks
The model is leaning over on the total, projecting the teams to combine for 150 points. It also says one side of the spread hits well over 50 percent of the time. You can only see the pick at SportsLine.
So who wins Illinois vs. Michigan? And which side of the spread hits well over 50 percent of the time? Visit SportsLine right now to see which side of the spread you need to jump on, all from the computer model that has crushed its college basketball picks.