Edwards explains 3 of his CBK picks for Wednesday

Edwards explains 3 of his CBK picks for Wednesday

As of this morning, most betting shops had Illinois (20-7 straight up, 15-10-2 against the spread) installed as an 11.5-point home favorite for tonight’s Big Ten scrap vs. Minnesota. The total was in the 154.5 to 155.5 range, while the Gophers were +500 on the money line.

Tip-off is scheduled for 9:00 p.m. Eastern on the Big Ten Network.

The Fighting Illini have won six games in a row in this rivalry, going 5-1 ATS. This is the first meeting between these schools this year.

Minnesota (17-10 SU, 23-4 ATS) has lost by 12 points or more only three times in 27 games. The Gophers are 3-0 ATS in three games as double-digit underdogs and they’re 11-3 ATS with five outright wins in 14 games as underdogs.

Ben Johnson’s team has won five of its last eight games and is 9-1 ATS in its last 10 contests. The Gophers, who are #67 at KenPom and #77 in the NET rankings, didn’t even make the ‘Next Four Out’ in the latest edition of ‘Bracketology’ from ESPN’s Joe Lunardi that was updated Tuesday morning.

Therefore, Minnesota knows it has to make a big splash to impress the Selection Committe with an outright win tonight to add a second Quad-1 scalp to its resume. The Gophers are only 1-6 in Q1 games, but they’re 6-3 in Q2 contests and have only one bad loss (a Q3 setback at home vs. Missouri by a 70-68 count back on Nov. 16).

Illinois is 14-2 SU and 8-7-1 ATS in 16 home games this year, while Minnesota is 2-6 SU and 6-2 ATS in eight road assignments. The Fighting Illini have won by at least 12 points in only two of their last seven Big Ten home games, and they’ve won by 12 points or more in just two of their last nine contests.

(Those two wins by 12 points or more in Illinois’ last nine games have been at home vs. Michigan and at Ohio St., the two worst teams in the Big Ten.)

The ‘over’ has hit in seven straight Illinois games and is 17-3 in its last 20 contests. The Fighting Illini’s last 7 games have netted combined scores of 180, 179, 165, 165, 166, 171 and 162 points.

Brad Underwood’s team is ranked #4 nationally in offensive efficiency at KenPom. Illinois is ranked #13 in the country in scoring with its 83.8 points-per-game average.

The ‘over’ is 8-3 in Minnesota’s last 11 games, including combined scores of 163, 157, 175, 160 and 167 points.

PREDICTIONS: Minnesota +11.5 and ‘OVER’ 154.5 points. 

In a Big East showdown tonight on Fox Sports 1 at 9:00 p.m. Eastern, we’ve got a rematch of a triple-overtime affair earlier this year.

As of mid-morning, most spots had Creighton (19-8 SU, 14-14 ATS) listed as an 8.5-point home favorite vs. Seton Hall. The total was in the 143.5 to 144.5 range, and the Pirates were +320 on the money line.

When these teams met in New Jersey, Creighton won a 97-94 triple-OT thriller as a 1.5-point road favorite on Jan. 20.

Seton Hall (18-9 SU, 13-14 ATS) has revenge motivation tonight after dropping that heartbreaker. The Pirates have won three games in a row both SU and ATS, including an 88-70 home win vs. Xavier, a 68-62 win at St. John’s and a 76-64 home win vs. Butler.

They have had an extra day of rest and preparation since Saturday’s win over the Bulldogs. Greg McDermott’s team lost 80-66 at St. John’s on Sunday afternoon and then had to fly back to Omaha from New York City.

Creighton is 12-2 SU and 6-8 ATS in 14 home games. The Bluejays are 1-6 ATS with two outright losses in seven games as a home favorite of 6.5 points or more vs. Big East opponents this year.

Seton Hall owns seven outright wins as an underdog this year, including road wins at Providence, at Butler and at St. John’s. The Pirates also have a neutral-court win over Missouri as ‘dogs, in addition to home victories vs. Marquette, UConn and St. John’s.

PREDICTION: Seton Hall +8.5.