The No. 12 Illinois Fighting Illini will head on the road to play a dangerous Rutgers Scarlet Knights team that continues to beat some of the best teams in the Big Ten.
Illinois (18-6, 11-3 Big Ten) followed a loss to the Purdue Boilermakers by knocking off the Northwestern Wildcats at home Sunday afternoon. The Fighting Illini are rated inside the top 25 in KenPom’s adjusted efficiency on both ends of the floor, and Kofi Cockburn’s big season continues as he leads the team with 21.5 points and 11.4 rebounds per game.
Rutgers (15-9, 9-5 Big Ten) is on a three-game winning streak - all against ranked opponents - over the Michigan State Spartans, Ohio State Buckeyes and Wisconsin Badgers. In the latest KenPom ratings, Rutgers is outside the top 100 in adjusted offensive efficiency and outside the top 50 offensively. Ron Harper Jr. is the team’s top scorer with 15.7 points per game.
When: Wednesday, February 16, 7:00 p.m. ET
Where: Jersey Mike’s Arena, Piscataway, NJ
TV: Big Ten Network
Where to live stream online: Big Ten Network on FOX Sports, FOX Sports App
Live updates and stats: At DraftKings Sportsbook
Spread: Illinois -4.5
At some point the Rutgers reign of terror has to end, right? It’s tough to bet against a team playing so well against quality competition, but that’s exactly what’s happening here because it’s impossible for Illinois to overlook the Scarlet Knights at this point. Rutgers hasn’t gone against a dominant force down low like Cockburn, and he will be the difference in Illinois covering this number.
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