One of the most anticipated college basketball games of the season takes place on Friday night when the Illinois Fighting Illini host the Iowa Hawkeyes. These two teams played the final game of the 2020 regular season against each other, and both teams have been waiting for another chance to square off.
Iowa comes into this game with a record of 12-3 overall, and they are 6-2 in Big Ten Conference games. The Hawkeyes suffered an embarrassing loss to Indiana last week, and they will be looking to bounce back in a big way.
Illinois has gone 6-3 so far in Big Ten action, but this Illini team is looking for more consistency. The Fighting Illini were able to snap a brief two-game losing streak with a win over Penn State in their most recent game. The winner of this game could easily become the Big Ten Conference champion this season.
Iowa at Illinois Betting Preview: Hawkeyes Can Light it Up
The Iowa Hawkeyes are averaging 90.7 points per game this season, and it’s hard to find a team with more weapons than them. Iowa will launch a ton of three-point shots in this game, and center Luka Garza will also look to embarrass Kofi Cockburn with his array of moves
Garza leads the Hawkeyes with 26.9 points per game, and most believe that he is the Player of the Year in college basketball. There is no doubt that stopping Garza is a key for Illinois, and they have just the man to get it done.
Iowa has four different players with at least 26 three-pointers this season, but Joe Wieskamp and Jordan Bohannon are the two biggest sharpshooters. Illinois has some strong perimeter defenders, and they can’t allow these two players to get any clean looks.
Iowa at Illinois Betting Preview: Dynamic Duo Dominating For Illinois
Illinois is led by guard Ayo Dosunmu and center Kofi Cockburn. Both players decided to return to school instead of heading to the NBA, and they returned to play in big games like this.
Dosunmu leads the team with 21.7 points per game, and he has to take over this game for the Orange and Blue. Cockburn is averaging 17 points and 10 rebounds per game, and he will need to prove that he can compete with Garza.
Outside of these two stars, Illinois has several players that need to step up. Seniors Trent Frazier and Damonte Williams bring an edge to Illinois, and it’s time for them to help lead the team past its rival. If Illinois is going to be considered a Final Four threat then they must win this game.
Iowa at Illinois Betting Preview: Fighting Illini Find Enough Defense For Victory
Both of these teams can really score, and this could be a race to 90 points. At some point, one of these teams is going to have to get some stops, and Illinois has a major advantage on the defensive end of the floor.
Iowa does not even attempt to play defense most of the time, and Illinois should be able to carve them up. The Hawkeyes simply think that their offense is good enough to win games and on most nights it is.
Illinois has some terrific 1 on 1 defenders and Kofi Cockburn will do a great job of slowing down Garza in this game. The Fighting Illini will give up some points, but this team will find a way to come up with enough stops to take over this game.
Iowa and Illinois do not like each other, and that will make the victory even sweeter for the home team.
Bet the Illinois Fighting Illini over the Iowa Hawkeyes in this Big Ten Conference showdown.