6:30 p.m. ET – Rutgers vs. No. 3 Illinois (-8½) O/U: 137½
|Teams||Spread||Money Line||Total Points|
|Rutgers||+8½ (-110)||+295||O 137½ (-115)|
|Illinois||-8½ (-110)||-370||U 137½ (-105)|
The 15-10 No. 7 seed Scarlet Knights take on the 20-6 No. 2 seed Fighting Illini on Thursday in the Big Ten quarterfinals. Rutgers defeated Indiana 61-50 on Wednesday in the second round to advance to Thursday’s matchup. Illinois finished its regular season on Saturday, defeating Ohio State 73-68 on the road to finish on a four-game winning streak.
Guard Ron Harper Jr. leads Rutgers with 15.2 points per game. The son of former NBA standout Ron Harper had 13 points and 11 rebounds in Wednesday’s win over the Hoosiers. The talented Harper also registered 28 points in the first matchup of the season between these two on 9-of-15 shooting, despite being the main focus of the Illini defense.
Illinois is led by guard Ayo Dosunmu, who averages 20.9 points per game. Dosunmu missed three games recently with a facial injury, but returned to the hardwood on Saturday to score 19 points on 7-of-10 shooting from the field. The star guard had 22 points, 11 rebounds, and six assists in the previous matchup against the Scarlet Knights.
Center Kofi Cockburn stepped up in Dosunmu’s absence, averaging 18.3 points per game while he was sidelined, a time frame that include a big win over Michigan, then ranked No. 2 in the nation.
Considering Illinois is a good foul-shooting team, there is no issue whatsoever backing them to cover the eight-point spread and cruise to the Big Ten semifinals.
*Odds courtesy of MyBookie