Connecticut Huskies (34-3) vs Illinois Fighting Illini (29-8)

Saturday, March 30, 2024 at 6:09 pm

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At 6:05 pm, our selection is on the Illinois Illini + the points over the Connecticut Huskies. Admittedly, the Huskies are deserving of their #1 ranking.  They've won and covered all three NCAA Tourney games, including a 30-point blowout of San Diego State on Thursday.  But top-3-seeded favorites of more than 5 points have gone 0-10 ATS at the Sweet 16 Round forward, off a cover by more than 7 points, if they were matched up against a foe off an upset win.  That certainly doesn't bode well for UConn this evening against an excellent Illinois team checking in off an upset win over the Big 12 Tourney champs, Iowa St.  The Illini, for their part, won the Big 10 Conference tournament, and have now won 10 of 11 games, including their last seven in a row.  And they've covered 5 straight.  Here, they've been installed as a huge underdog vs. the defending champion Huskies.  And we'll happily grab the points, as top-3-seeded teams have gone a perfect 7-0 ATS as underdogs of 8+ points, dating back to March 28, 1998.  Moreover, since the Big 10 started its post-season tourney, its champs have been terrific as underdogs in the NCAA Tournament, as they've gone 10-5 ATS, including a perfect 3-0 ATS in the Elite 8 Round.  Likewise, the Illini have been stellar as underdogs this season, going 5-1-1 ATS.  And they're 21-10-1 ATS their last 32 as underdogs, including a perfect 6-0-1 ATS when getting 6 or more points.  Finally, this season, the Illini have gone 14-4 ATS away from home, and have covered the spread in those 18 games by an average of 6 ppg (UConn has not done as well away from home, as it's covered the spread by an average of 2.43 ppg).  Take the Illini.  Good luck, as always...Al McMordie.

Al’s Pick Illinois Fighting Illini: +8.5 -110

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