The Annual Big Ten/ACC Challenge is once again underway here in 2020. As the football has been lackluster this season, to say the least, and no other pro sports are being played right now, it couldn’t come at a better time.
Tuesday night’s highlight matchup is quite possibly the Illinois Fighting Illini tipping off against the Duke Blue Devils at Cameron Indoor Stadium. No dealing with the “Cameron Crazies” this season, just what should be a great basketball game.
Tip-off is set for 9:30 pm ET, and the game will be broadcast on ESPN. You can catch all of the Big Ten/ACC Challenge across ESPN’s networks.
Illinois Fighting Illini Betting Preview: Well, This is New…Again
Illinois basketball is good again. How about that? It seems like it has been forever since the days of Derron Williams and Dee Brown because it has been forever.
After picking up a ton of steam late in his third season as Illinois’ head coach, Brad Underwood busted through the ceiling to kick off his fourth season. Illinois started the season ranked 8th in the AP Top 25, jumped the 5th a week ago, and heads into this matchup ranked 6th.
Illinois is an interesting Top 10 team. Four of their five starters were ranked in the Top 5 toughest defenders to score on in the Big Ten, pre-season. Ayo Dosunmu and Kofi Cockburn are obvious future NBA talents but could not find their footing against No. 2 Baylor last week.
Instead, it has been the role players for the Illini that have stepped up this season and been consistent. If Damonte Williams continues to pour in threes, to go along with his defense and fantastic fundamentals, look out for this team.
Their inconsistent three-point shooting has been their Achilles heel in recent years. Williams’ sudden three-point surge and freshman sharpshooter Adam Miller could help fix that moving forward.
Duke Blue Devils Betting Preview: Duke with Another Top Team
Duke is the most loved and hated team in the country. The Patriots of NCAA basketball, if you will.
While Duke’s roster is also loaded with NBA talent, they slipped a bit in the AP Top 25 this week. They dropped from 6th to 10th.
It was a different Big Ten opponent that caused the drop. No. 4Michigan State beat Duke 75-69 last week. At Cameron Indoor, no less, a place they don’t lose often.
To the surprise of no one, it’s been the trio of Matthew Hurt, Jalen Johnson, and DJ Steward leading the way for the Blue Devils so far. Hurt is already putting up 19 points per game in this young season.
On defense, DJ Steward has been an absolute pest. Averaging almost one block and an insane three steals per game so far, expect his numbers to come back to earth a bit. This kid can ball.
Illinois at Duke Betting Odds & Lines
BetOnline, and pretty much everywhere else, has Duke favored by 3.5 points. That’s tough because everyone’s heart says to take Duke.
Illini stayed in the game with Baylor while Dosunmu had his worst game of the season, and Cockburn was in foul trouble most of the game. If you’re taking the spread, take the Illini and the 3.5 points. You’ll come out a winner. Good luck!
Spooky Express Free Pick: Illinois +3.5