Hell-inois against spread

Jan 30, 2007 6:14 AM

The wonderful aspect of writing from a betting perspective is the ability to discuss a situation that daily newspapers can’t.

Illinois is 15-8 on the season. Not a bad record on the surface, but dig into unholy ground and you come up with a different story.

We find the Illini have hardly been fighting. In fact, they went through a six week stretch where they dropped a remarkable 10 straight against the number.

To Coach Bruce Weber’s credit, Illinois has turned it around some of late. going 2-2 ATS. Illinois finally beat a ranked team, its first W in five tries this season, with a road victory at Indiana.

This week Illinois has a two-game Big 10 homestand, facing Michigan State (Tuesday) and Minnesota (Saturday).

FYI: Remember we said that winless IoNA (not IoWA) would turn things around in MAAC play the rest of the year. Well, they are 3-1 ATS since coming under our radar screen. Forget they’re 0-20! They are now a moneymaker.

TUESDAY

Georgia Tech at Wake: It has been a tough year for the Deacs, but we like the dog situation at home. Tech is superior, but young and plays up and down. WF.

WEDNESDAY

Miami at UNC: The Canes won’t win, but did give Maryland a battle at College Park. We think they can hang within 20 against flat Heels. MIAMI, FL.

Minnesota at N’western: The Gophers suffering through 0-5 ATS run. UNDER 6-0 in past six Cats games, which figures. They’re Princeton midwest. UNDER.

Gonzaga at Stanford: Critics say Zags don’t have a go-to guy in a tight spot. Stanford is one of nation’s top underdog teams and beat USC by 15 at home. Zags are in trouble here. STANFORD.

THURSDAY

Iona at Siena: The visiting Gaels should be double-digit dogs. That’s just fine with us. IONA.

Oregon at UCLA: The Ducks are 5-1 on the road. Don’t let that 2-4 ATS mark stump you. They were favorites. No way Oregon gives points at Pauley. This could be a very live Duck. OREGON.

Duke at Virginia: The Dukies have righted the ship after a rocky ACC start, but Virginia is one tough cookie in its new building. This could go down to the wire.DUKE.

Georgetown at St. John’s: The Johnnies are 11-4 at home and playing their best ball off 3-0 ATS run. They beat ND and Syracuse at the Garden. Why not Hoyas as well? Upset alert. ST. JOHN’S.

FRIDAY

Princeton at Yale: Battle of wills. Slowdown Tigers vs high-scoring Eli. Princeton has not reached 57 points in 13 of 15 games. YALE.

SATURDAY

Clemson at GT: First one to Clemson 55-54 at Littlejohn when Tigers were unbeaten. Tech has been waiting for this one. GT.

UNLV at BYU: We really love what the Krugers have done to the Rebs this season. This team has heart and they’ll need it in Provo. But we have their back. UNLV.

N.Carolina at NC State: Upset Saturday usually claims a Top 10 victim. The Pack are as bad as it gets in the ACC. The game is on ABC, just the right formula for fireworks. NC STATE.

Rutgers at UConn: UConn is not the equal of past teams. Even if Rutgers is awful, we don’t see the standard Big East home court blowout here. We’ll take a heavy load of points. RUTGERS.

Gonzaga at Pepperdine: The Zags have been disappointing as a cover team, especially in the weak West Coast Conference. The Wave is not up to standards, but this is their big rival and the game is on ESPNU. Zags have burned us enough. PEPPERDINE.

Oregon St at UCLA: After an expected tough fight with Oregon, expect Afflalo and the athletic Bruins to take the lowly Beavers to the woodshed. UCLA.