Kofi Cockburn gives Illinois an edge in the Big Ten fight – archyde

Rutgers vs. Illinois Quoten

When the game gets hot in December, we’ll be getting more and more powerhouse games in conferences.

This is one of those matchups.

However, these two didn’t live up to their pre-season expectations. Rutgers have already lost buying games to Lafayette and Massachusetts, while Andre Curbelo was a nightmare on the Illinois offensive.

But all is not lost. Rutgers just got a win against Clemson, and Illinois has wins against Notre Dame and Kansas State.

But which team is in a better position to win this Big Ten match?

Steve Pikiell did an incredible job turning Rutgers around, but the Scarlet Knights need two things to play properly in order to win games.

First, Rutgers has to play defense. Usually the Knights are great on defensive, finishing 16th on defensive efficiency last season.

And while central defense fell by the wayside this year, perimeter defense was lacking. Rutgers is the 340th percentile allowed in spot-up PPP (1.07) and 210th in 3-point defense (34.4%).

Second, Ron Harper Jr. has to put the team on the offensive. Rutgers started 7-1 last season because Harper scored more than 20 points per game. In the Clemson win, he lost 23 while distributing three assists and getting nine rebounds.

While Geo Baker poses an offensive threat too, he’s too inconsistent to rely on at night. Harper is the key to the Scarlet Knights.

At +700, Illinois was the clear pre-season value pick to win the Big Ten. While Ayo Dosunmu was leaving, Curbelo and Trent Frazier could replicate its production overall, and Kofi Cockburn would be a monster inside.

But in seven games, Curbelo has had a miserable 5.5: 4 assist to revenue ratio. Against Marquette, Curbelo spun the ball seven times, including a few catastrophically.

In the meantime, Trent Frazier has hardly shouldered the burden of goalscoring. He averages less than nine points per game at 30% shooting.

Despite missing the first three games due to suspension, Cockburn was the only young girl who lived up to expectations. In the last four games, he’s averaged 27/10 with more than 70% shooting. He also recorded a block and a steal in every game played.

Also, the Illinois have seen other contributors. Especially Coleman Hawkins, who hit double digits four times and got at least eight rebounds three times.

Rutgers vs. Illinois Wett-Tipp

Given the problems in the Illinois early season, I leaned on Rutgers first.

However, KenPom makes that spread 11, and Bart Torvik makes it 9.8. Hence, the projections show value for Illinois.

Plus, no one inside won’t stop Cockburn. Rutgers’ center rotation stands 6-foot-10, 6-foot-8, and 6-foot-6. The 7 foot cockburn that is rolling right now will dominate this matchup.

I’m waiting to bet on Illinois until I see more of Curbelo and Frazier, but the value is pretty clear on the Illinois.

Choose: Passport | Slim Illinois -7.5


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