Minnesota vs. Illinois Picks and Predictions – Wednesday, Feb. 28

Feb 3, 2024; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Golden Gophers forward Dawson Garcia (3) shoots as Northwestern Wildcats guard Brooks Barnhizer (13) defends during the first half at Williams Arena.
Image Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

We have your Minnesota Golden Gophers vs. Illinois Fighting Illini prop betting and game preview needs covered as the Minnesota Golden Gophers hit the road to face the Illinois Fighting Illini.

The Minnesota Golden Gophers (17-10, 8-8 Big Ten) are set to challenge the No. 13 Illinois Fighting Illini (20-7, 11-5 Big Ten) in a Big Ten showdown. With both teams looking to solidify their conference standings, this matchup at the State Farm Center promises to be a clash of titans.

Minnesota Golden Gophers vs. Illinois Fighting Illini Odds Info

Moneyline: Minnesota Golden Gophers +480 (FanDuel) / Illinois Fighting Illini -690 (FanDuel)

Spread: -11.5 – Minnesota Golden Gophers -112 (BetRivers) / Illinois Fighting Illini -112 (BetRivers)

Total: 155.0 – -110 (PointsBet) / -110 (PointsBet)

Game Info

Date: Wednesday, Feb. 28

Time: 09:00 PM

Location: State Farm Center – Champaign, IL


Minnesota Golden Gophers Betting Trends

  • On the road, Minnesota Golden Gophers are 2 and 6 this season.
  • Against the spread this season, Minnesota Golden Gophers are 23 and 4.
  • Against the spread on the road, Minnesota Golden Gophers are 6 and 3.

Illinois Fighting Illini Betting Trends

  • At home, Illinois Fighting Illini are 14 and 2 this season.
  • Against the spread this season, Illinois Fighting Illini are 16 and 10.
  • Against the spread at home, Illinois Fighting Illini are 9 and 7.

Minnesota Golden Gophers vs. Illinois Fighting Illini Predictions

The Minnesota Golden Gophers are coming into this game with a solid season record but have shown some inconsistency on the road, with a 2-6 away record. Despite a recent loss, they have been strong against the spread this season, boasting the best ATS record at 23-4. The Gophers’ offense, led by Dawson Garcia averaging 17.3 points and 6.6 rebounds per game, will look to exploit Illinois’ defensive gaps, particularly from beyond the arc where they shoot 35.5% as a team.

Illinois, on the other hand, has been dominant at home with a 14-2 record and is riding a five-game home winning streak. The Fighting Illini’s offense is spearheaded by Terrence Shannon Jr., who averages 21.6 points per game, and they are known for their efficient transition play. Illinois also holds an edge on the glass, ranking within the top 55 defensively in rebounding and within the top 20 offensively, which could be crucial against the Gophers.

This game will likely hinge on key matchups and execution on both ends of the floor. Minnesota’s ability to hit outside shots and Illinois’ transition offense and rebounding prowess will be pivotal. With both teams ranking within the top 35 in defensive rim and 3-point rate, it’s set to be a tightly contested battle that could come down to the wire.

Minnesota Golden Gophers vs. Illinois Fighting Illini Pick

Despite the Illinois Fighting Illini’s strong home record and the offensive prowess of Terrence Shannon Jr., the Minnesota Golden Gophers present a compelling upset pick with their +480 moneyline odds. Minnesota’s exceptional performance against the spread this season, standing at 23-4, indicates their ability to outperform expectations, particularly in high-stakes games. The Gophers’ efficient three-point shooting could exploit Illinois’ defensive vulnerabilities from the perimeter, where the Illini have shown gaps. Additionally, Minnesota’s top-ranked points per possession on cuts could challenge Illinois’ defensive switching strategy, potentially leading to high-percentage scoring opportunities for the Gophers.

Historically, Illinois has dominated this matchup, but the current dynamics suggest a potential shift. Minnesota’s ATS record and their offensive efficiency, coupled with Illinois’ recent close calls and defensive lapses, pave the way for a potential upset. The Gophers’ ability to keep games close and their competitive edge in transition play could neutralize Illinois’ home-court advantage. Given the lucrative odds and Minnesota’s knack for beating the market, a moneyline bet on the Gophers is a calculated risk worth taking for this Big Ten showdown.

The Pick: Minnesota Golden Gophers +480 (FanDuel)