Illinois Fighting Illini vs. Central Florida Knights, Las Vegas Odds, NIT March Madness Betting, Picks and Prediction

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ILLINOIS FIGHTING ILLINI CENTRAL FLORIDA KNIGHTS
20-14 March 22, 7:00 PM | CFE Arena 23-11
Illinois at Central Florida, Sports Betting Lines and Odds
When: 7:00 PM ET, Wednesday, March 22, 2017
Where: CFE Federal Credit Union Arena, Orlando, Florida
TV: 7 p.m. ET, ESPN2
COLLEGE BASKETBALL – Wednesday, March 22nd – NIT TOURNAMENT – QUARTERFINALS
Team / Live in game Betting at bovada-logo-top-book Spread Money Line Total
767 –Illinois Fighting Illini +3½ -110  +145 Ov 130½ -110
768 –Central Florida Knights -3½ -110  -165 Un 130½ -110
 

The Illinois Fighting Illini and the Central Florida Knights will both be gunning for a victory on Wednesday when they meet at CFE Arena.

ABOUT ILLINOIS (20-14): Hill scored 13 points in Monday’s win to get to 1,817 for his career, moving past Dee Brown for third place in program history. Sophomore forward Leron Black, who was held to two points in 27 minutes in the two games prior to the NIT, has recorded back-to-back double-doubles in the event after finishing the second round contest with 12 points and 10 boards. Abrams is averaging 16.7 points while shooting 61.3 percent from the field – including 6-of-11 from 3-point range – in three postseason games.

ABOUT UCF (23-11): Sophomore guard B.J. Taylor capped a 22-point effort against Illinois State with the decisive free throws with 1.3 seconds left, and he has recorded at least 20 points in three straight games. The nation’s fourth-ranked scoring defense (61.0) entering the game, the Knights – who used just seven players and saw Taylor and senior guard Matt Williams go the full 40 minutes – held the Redbirds to a 36.7 percent from the floor. Williams, who ranks second on the team in scoring behind Taylor, registered 15 points while 7-6 sophomore Tacko Fall finished with eight points and 14 boards.

Oddsmakers currently have the Knights listed as 3½-point favorites versus the Fighting Illini, while the game’s total is sitting at 130½.

Following a tumultuous period earlier this month, Illinois is looking to salvage something of its season and continues its NIT run Wednesday in a quarterfinal matchup at Central Florida. With incoming coach Brad Underwood on hand to watch the program he will inherit, the second-seeded Fighting Illini rallied to a 71-56 win over Boise State at home on Monday in the second round.

“As the leaders, me and Malcolm (Hill), we’re not going to be back next year,” guard Tracy Abrams told reporters after recording a team-high 18 points. “We’ve got to focus on the (2016-17) team. Finishing strong and keep fighting. That’s the mindset.” Interim coach Jamall Walker, who took over when John Groce was fired March 11, is impressed with the leadership displayed by players who could have chosen to fold up the tent. “These guys are the epitome of (the fight) in the program,” Walker told the media. “I’m just kind of following their lead. If they want to keep advancing, I’m going to keep getting on planes and buses and getting them prepared.” After knocking off fifth-seeded Colorado at home, the No. 4 seed Knights advanced to the quarterfinals with a 63-62 victory over top-seeded Illinois State on Monday, snapping the Redbirds 22-game home winning streak.

In their last action, Central Florida was a 63-62 winner on the road against Redbirds. They covered the +4.5-point spread as underdogs.

Illinois won its last outing, a 71-56 result against Broncos on March 20. They covered in that game as a -8.5-point favorite.

Where to bet on Illinois Fighting Illini vs. Central Florida Knights?

Bovada.lv or Mybookie.ag and GTBETS. Betting lines are available at Bovada Sportsbook, where you can make your bets and get a 50% welcome bonus with your first deposit.

Illinois:
Team record: 20-14 SU,17-16 ATS
Illinois is 6-2 ATS in its last 8 games
Illinois is 6-2 SU in its last 8 games
The total has gone UNDER in 12 of Illinois’s last 15 games

Central Florida:
Team record: 23-11 SU,16-13 ATS
Central Florida is 5-2 ATS in its last 7 games
Central Florida is 8-1 SU in its last 9 games
Central Florida is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games on the road

NIT HOOPS TIPS

1. This marks the first ever meeting between the programs.

2. Taylor has nine assists against two turnovers in 78 minutes in the NIT.

3. The winner plays either TCU or Richmond in the semifinals at Madison Square Garden in New York next Tuesday.

Vegas Coverage pick and prediction:
Picks: Illinois Fighting Illini will cover the spread at +3.5 and the game will go over 130.5 points, according to scamdicappers scamdicappers.com

PREDICTION: Illinois 68, UCF 63 at bovada-logo-top-book betnow-vegas-coverage.

SMART CHART
ILL TEAM UCF
72.1 PTS FOR 67.4
69.1 PTS AGNST 61.1
3.0 DIFF. 6.4
25.2 DEF REBOUNDS 30.0
9.9 OFF REBOUNDS 10.9
44.9 FG% 43.8
68.8 FT% 65.7
7.6 3 POINTERS 7.4
5.5 STEALS 3.9
BETTING TRENDS
ILLINOIS
Illinois is 3-9 ATS in its last 12 games on the road
Illinois is 4-13 SU in its last 17 games on the road
The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Illinois’s last 5 games on the road
CENTRAL FLORIDA
Central Florida8-1-1 SU in its last 10 games
Central Florida is 11-2 SU in its last 13 games at home
SUPERGRID
RANK RANK
Illinois’s Overall Scoring vs Central Florida’s Overall Defense 72.1 204 61.1 6
Illinois’s Away Scoring vs Central Florida’s Home Defense 64.8 296 58.0 9
Illinois’s Road Rebounds vs Central Florida’s Home Rebounds Allowed 32.5 278 32.0 70
Central Florida’s Overall Scoring vs Illinois’s Overall Defense 67.4 298 69.1 94
Central Florida’s Home Scoring vs Illinois’s Road Defense 70.9 281 74.4 156
Central Florida’s Home Rebounds vs Illinois’s Road Rebounds Allowed 43.6 3 34.3 93
TOP 3/BOTTOM 3
ILLINOIS
No trends to report
CENTRAL FLORIDA
Central Florida is second best in the league in field goal percentage against allowing 36.4.

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