Two teams heading in different directions will meet in the Big Ten Conference clash. The Minnesota Golden Gophers (7-17) will look to pick up a much-needed win against the rivaled Illinois Fighting Illini (17-9). Can Minnesota pull off the upset on the road? Check out our college basketball odds series for our Minnesota-Illinois prediction and pick.

The Minnesota Golden Gophers have no hopes left of making the NCAA tournament and will look to finish their season strong, gaining experience for next year’s season. They’re currently suffering through a horrendous stretch in which they’ve lost their last nine consecutive games. They’ve been beat up by the Big Ten all year, so they’ll be as desperate as ever for a win here.

The Illinois Fighting Illini are in the middle of the Big Ten standings and really have to make a move by the end of the season to have a good chance at the NCAA Tournament. They were able to win seven of eight games in a stretch just a month ago, but have dropped their last two games to Penn State and No. 14 Indiana, respectively. They’ll be looking to bounce back from the close loss against Indiana as they have a chance to build confidence against Minnesota.

Here are the Minnesota-Illinois college basketball odds, courtesy of FanDuel. 

College Basketball Odds: Minnesota-Illinois Odds

Minnesota: +14.5 (-108)

Illinois: -14.5 (-112)

Over: 135.5 (-110)

Under: 135.5 (-110)

How To Watch Minnesota vs. Illinois

TV: Big Ten Network

Stream: fuboTV

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Time: 9:00 p.m. ET/ 6:00 p.m. PT

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Why Minnesota Could Cover The Spread

The Golden Gophers have served as the punching bag of the Big Ten for this recent stretch in their season. They seemingly can’t buy a win and continue to lose by embarrassing margins. They’ve had a number of their games postponed recently and it has not done the Gophers any favors. They continue to struggle shooting the ball and have lost their enthusiasm on the defensive end.

Ta’lon Cooper will have to continue shooting well from three for the Gophers to have a chance in this game. Their forward Dawson Garcia will have a tough task down low against Coleman Hawkins, so he’ll have to use his finesse moves and look for open layups. To have the best chance, Minnesota will have to be aggressive in driving the basketball and picking up fouls on the Illinois bigs.

Why Illinois Could Cover The Spread

Illinois hasn’t had the type of success they’ve enjoyed the past two years, but the Illini are building a solid core of players to be dangerous in the future. Coleman Hawkins continues to be good on the boards and is a rare forward that can pass the ball like a guard. The Illini play well as a team and love to play in front of their “Orange Krush” crowd. If they can get in rhythm early, it’ll be a long night for the Gophers.

Illinois is 12-2 in their home building have covered the spread to the tune of 10-4. They shoot great splits at home and have much more energy when playing in front of the student crowd. For Illinois to cover this large spread, they’ll want to get out in transition as early as possible, assuming Minnesota will struggle shooting the ball. If they can capitalize on the mistakes of the Gophers and answer with scoring runs, they should be able to win this game handedly.

Final Minnesota-Illinois Prediction & Pick

Illinois might be a lock to win this game at home as the Gophers look defeated nearing season’s end. If this game was earlier in the season, I would have never bet a 14+ point spread in the Big Ten. However, Minnesota has had a tendency to lose big, and Illinois is great at covering at home. Let’s take the Illini with the prediction.

Final Minnesota-Illinois Prediction & Pick: Illinois Fighting Illini -14.5 (-112)