Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#721 The Citadel vs.
#722 Illinois
Wednesday, November 20, 2019 at 9:00pm EST
Written by Adam Rauzino



#721 The Citadel, The Military College of South Carolina
#722 University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign


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The Illinois Fighting Illini will host The Citadel Bulldogs in an inter-conference battle Wednesday night from the State Farm Center. The Bulldogs tallied a 73-69 road win against SE Missouri State on Tuesday night, and the Fighting Illini earned a 66-53 home win against Hawaii on Monday night.

The Citadel Record First Win of Season

The Citadel Bulldogs have found the win column for the first time this season. They dropped each of their first three games which included a road loss to Georgia and earned a 73-60 road win against SE Missouri State on Tuesday night in a game that had the Bulldogs as 6.5 point underdogs. Hayden Brown accumulated 26 points in the loss to Georgia and he shot at least 50% in each of their first three games. The junior forward leads the team with an average of 16.2 points.

Fletcher Abee has been accurate from deep, sporting a 10 for 24 clip from three-point range. The freshman guard has been a bright spot in the Bulldogs rough start, averaging 12 points on the season. Kaelon Harris logged the double-double with 20 points and 12 rebounds in Tuesday’s victory. The senior guard is averaging 10 points and eight rebounds per game.

The Bulldogs are placed down at 315th overall in Ken Pomeroy’s college basketball rankings, and they will likely finish in the bottom half of their conference this season. The Citadel are looking good from an offensive standpoint, averaging 77.2 points, ranking them 111th overall. They are having issues defensively and are conceding an average of 85.5 points, placing them down at 345th in the country.

Illinois Registers Win in Three of First Four Games

The Illinois Fighting Illini are targeting their second straight win. Illinois returns a good portion of last year’s roster and have won three of their first four games with their lone defeat occurring against Arizona. They were 16 point favorites in a game that resulted in a 66-53 victory against Hawaii in their latest action on Monday night. Ayo Dosunmu is expected to be a leader this season. He leads the team with 13.8 PPG last year and has posted 13.5 PPG on a subpar 43.8% field goal efficiency through four games.

Trent Frazier is heating up after a slow start, scoring a combined 29 points in his last two games, and he is fourth in team scoring with 9.8 PPG. Andres Feliz is one of several players expected to improve this season. The senior guard has shot 50% in three of four games and is averaging a team-leading 16 points and 8.8 rebounds per game.

The Fighting Illini are expected to be a much-improved team after winning only 12 games last year. So far they are off to an uninspiring start which included a loss to Nicholls State. They are positioned 46th in the country in Ken Pomeroy’s college basketball rankings. Illinois has been inconsistent offensively, and they are scoring an average of 74 points, ranking them 161st overall. They are allowing an average of 71 points, placing them 237th in D1.

Best Bets for this Game

Full-Game Side Bet

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I expect a convincing win from Illinois. The Citadel are playing their second game in as many nights which is rare in college basketball. They are a bad team that has lost three of their first four games. Their defensive play has been awful, surrendering at least 87 points in three of their four games.

Furthermore, Illinois is a team on the rise and they should dominate the Bulldogs in both ends of the court. The Fighting Illini have great size and they will use that to their advantage. They stand 27th in the country with 44.2 rebounds per game. Lastly, Illinois just limited Hawaii to 53 points, and they should contain the Bulldogs as well.

Prediction: Illinois Fighting Illini

Full-Game Total Pick

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I expect a high-scoring game due mainly to the Bulldogs' poor defense. Illinois is going to dominate the boards and I expect a season-high in points. They scored 83 points against Grand Canyon earlier this season and they should eclipse that number in this game. The over is 5-0 in the Fighting Illini’ last five games against a team with a winning percentage below .400.

In addition, the Citadel won’t score a ton of points, they are shooting a solid 47% as a team through four games. The over is 4-1 in the Bulldogs’ last five games overall, and it should cash again in this one.

Prediction: Over

Full-Game Prop Bet

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I recommend a play on the Illinois team total. The Citadel have already surrendered over 90 points twice this season. They surrendered 91 points UNC-Asheville and 95 points to Georgia. Opponents are shooting a remarkable 50% against The Citadel this season, and Illinois should have their way in the offensive end in this one.

Prediction: Illinois Team Total Over

Half-Time Side Pick

Insiders Status:


Illinois should dominate from start to finish. The Citadel are surrendering a remarkable average of 46.2 points in the first half, which places them near the bottom out of over 300 D1 teams. Also, Illinois is playing strong defense in the first half where they are holding opponents to 30.2 points.

Prediction: Illinois

Written By Adam Rauzino

Adam has been a sports fanatic his entire life, closely following hockey, baseball, basketball and football. Adam enjoys analyzing various stats, as well as studying Sabermetrics and analytics to take his picks to a whole new level. Adam has a passion for writing about various sports as well as personal finance and has brought his talents to us here at Winners and Whiners. He graduated with a diploma in business marketing and business finance.