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How and what to watch for No. 7 Iowa vs. No. 19 Illinois

The Hawkeyes will look to rebound from their loss to the Hoosiers when they play the Fighting Illini.

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Iowa Hawkeyes guard Connor McCaffery goes to the basket as center Luka Garza looks on during the first half against the Indiana Hoosiers at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.  Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

In the best game on Friday night slate, the No. 7-ranked Iowa Hawkeyes will be on the road to take on the No. 19 Illinois Fighting Illini in a key Big Ten matchup.

The Hawkeyes (12-3, 6-2) saw their five-game winning streak snapped last week by the Indiana Hoosiers. Iowa lost by 12 despite getting a double-double of 28 points and 12 rebounds from Wooden Award favorite Luka Garza. However the big man did not receive much help from anyone else, as Joe Wieskamp was the only other Iowa player to reach double figures with 16 points. Wieskamp and Garza are the Hawkeyes’ top-two leading scorers and rebounders.

The Fighting Illini (10-5, 6-3) have won three of their last five games, including a 14-point victory over the Penn State Nittany Lions last week. Ilinois center Kofi Cockburn led the way with 21 points on 6-10 shooting from the field, to go with 12 rebounds. As a team, Illinois shot 45.6 percent from the field, while holding Penn State to only 33.9 percent from the field. This season, Illinois is averaging 82.9 points per game and holding opponents to 68.9 points per game.

Game Time/TV Channel/Streaming

You can watch Iowa vs. Illinois on Friday, January 29th at 9:00 p.m. ET on FS1, or you can watch via the Fox Sports Go app with a cable or streaming service login. If you don’t have a cable login to access the ESPN app, you can get a free trial from YouTube TV, Hulu with Live TV, AT&T TV Now, FuboTV, or Sling TV to stream it.

Point Spread, Totals, Odds, Trends (Updated 2:15 p.m.)

Point spread: Illinois -2.5
Point total: 161.5
Money line: Iowa +120, Illinois -141

Betting Splits

Iowa: 87% of handle, 79% of bets
Illinois: 13% of handle, 21% of bets

  • In their last five games, the Hawkeyes have a record of 3-2 against the spread. The two games they didn’t cover against were the Hoosiers (-12) and Rutgers (-3).
  • The Fighting Illini have a similar record against the spread with a record of 3-2 against the spread. Their two ATS losses happened versus Ohio State (-7) and Maryland (-10.5).

The Best Bet

The last time the Hawkeyes were an underdog, they were +4.5 against the Gonzaga Bulldogs on Dec. 19. That game was on a neutral floor where they lost to potential national champion. Additionally, Iowa has yet to lose back-to-back games this season. Anytime you have Garza in the frontcourt, you’ve got a chance. But can Iowa get major contributions from other players on their team? Meanwhile, Illinois has a nice center-guard combo in Cockburn and Ayo Dosunmu. Those two players together are averaging 39.1 points per game.

Pick: Iowa +2

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