Our free College Basketball picks are out for Friday, January 21st, 2022! Make sure you check our expert College Basketball picks before the action kicks off.
Look below to find our free College Basketball picks for the best games on today’s schedule!
#17 Illinois @ Maryland – 7pm ET
The Fighting Illini come into this game as the top team in the Big Ten Conference. They are currently 6-1 and tied with Michigan State for the number one spot. They will be taking on the worst team in the Big Ten Conference in this one. As Maryland is only 1-6 inside of conference play so far this season.
Illinois is coming into the game against Maryland after a tough double-overtime loss to Purdue on Sunday. The Boilermakers snapped the Fighting Illini’s 6-game winning streak as Kofi Cockburn was denied on several occasions by Purdue’s defensive line. Alfonso Plummer dropped 24 points for Illinois, but it was not enough to match the performance of Zach Edey and Sasha Stefanovic. Their top player for the season was once again stopped by a seeded team as they also got defeated by Arizona in December. The team holds a 13-4 record that might be considered a decent achievement at first, but their overall performance has been nothing special. They have managed to go past Michigan and Iowa and this can be considered their biggest success this season.
Maryland will try to make up for their loss to Illinois two weeks ago when they were defeated by 12 points as they allowed Kofi Cockburn to erupt for 23 points and 18 rebounds. The Terrapins have been struggling during the current campaign, holding a 9-9 record ahead of this matchup. Maryland has also lost 5 out of its last 6 appearances as four of these came against unseeded teams. They, however, managed to outperform Florida in December, thus getting their first and only victory over a top 20 opponent. Now, they will try to upset the Fighting Illini on Friday, but in my opinion, this is quite unlikely. That’s why I will go with Illinois’ spread for this game.
Denis’ College Basketball Pick: Illinois -7.5 (-120)
The Illinois Fighting Illini are coming off of a thrilling double overtime loss to the Purdue Boilermakers that they will be looking to bounce back from in this one. Illinois comes into this game ranked 17th in the country and with a record of 13-4 on the season. They are currently tied for first place in the Big Ten with Wisconsin as both teams are currently 6-1 in conference play. They will be looking to complete the sweep over the Maryland Terrapins after beating Maryland earlier this year by a score of 76-64 at home back on January 6th.
— Illinois Basketball (@IlliniMBB) January 21, 2022
The Maryland Terrapins are having a rough go of things as the season progresses. They come into this game with a record of 9-9 as they sit exactly at the .500 mark. They will be looking to get revenge for an earlier loss to Illinois this season. They come into this game with a record of 1-6 inside the Big Ten Conference so far this season as they are still searching for a signature victory within the conference. As for the result of this game, I don’t look for it to get much better for Maryland either as I have Illinois picking up a particular easy victory in this one on Friday evening.
Tony’s College Basketball Pick: Illinois -7.5 (-120)
It seems like everyone is extremely high on this Illinois team, while I’m of the opinion that we need to slow the Fighting Illini bandwagon down just a bit. They’re certainly a really good team, coming into this one with a 13-4 record, and led by potential player of the year Kofi Cockburn, but the problem is that the resume isn’t actually all that impressive. They struggled through non-conference play, and then seemed to get it turned around in Big Ten play, as they started the conference slate 6-0, but lost their toughest game of the year earliest this week, as they fell in double OT to Purdue. They’re certainly still a tournament team, and the talent is there for them to make a deep run, but I think it’s too early to act assured of that, given what we’ve seen on the court from them so far.
Now I don’t think it matters either way in this one, as they’re taking on a Maryland team that sits at 9-9 on the year, including an atrocious 1-6 in conference play, as they simply have no identity. Assuming Illinois comes out playing even average ball tonight, talent will eventually take over, so give me the Fighting Illini and the points in this one.
Noah’s College Basketball Pick: Illinois -7.5 (-120)
#14 Michigan State @ #8 Wisconsin – 9pm ET
The Spartans come into this game as one of the top teams team in the Big Ten Conference. They are currently 5-1 and .5 games behind Illinois and the Badgers for the number one spot. They will be taking on the best team in the Big Ten Conference in this one. As Wisconsin is 6-1 inside of conference play so far this season.
The Michigan State Spartans are off to an incredible start this season. They won 14 out of their 17 matches which gives them a great perspective for the remainder of the campaign. The team enjoyed a 9-game winning streak before losing to Northwestern in their last match in the NCAA, 64-62. The Spartans had troubles against Baylor and Kansas, but that was quite expected since the team is less experienced than their opponents. Gabe Brown and Marcus Bingham Jr. lead the way for the Spartans with 14.2 points and 9.7 points per game. The latter also averages a team-high 7.1 rebounds and 2.8 blocks.
Wisconsin has also been playing very well this season. The Badgers hold a 15-2 record as they have been quite strong recently. The team managed to defeat Purdue in their first game of 2022 and later on, Ohio State and Northwestern also fell victims to them. Johnny Davis has simply been incredible during the first half of the season averaging 22.1 points and 7.5 rebounds. He also tops the list for the team assists and steals. Brad Davison has also been playing really well this season averaging 15.1 points per game. In my opinion, Wisconsin is the better team and they will be able to cover their spread on Friday.
Denis’ College Basketball Pick: Wisconsin -4 (-115)
Michigan State comes into this game with a record of 14-3 through their first 17 games on the season. They have excelled in Big Ten play thus far as they’ve posted a record of 5-1 inside the conference. That 5-1 record is good enough for second place as they find themselves a half game behind the leaders at the top at 6-1, Wisconsin and Illinois. With a win in this game it would give them a huge leverage advantage over the Badgers for the time being. Their lone conference loss came in their last game as they were upset by the Northwestern Wildcats in their last contest. Now they will look to bounce back with a huge victory in this one as they are currently ranked 14th heading into this top 25 matchup.
The Wisconsin Badgers have put together a great season thus far as they come into this game with a record of 15-2 on the season. They are currently occupying the top spot in the Big Ten as well with a record of 6-1 inside the conference. The Badgers are currently on a seven game winning streak they will be looking to extend. As I look for them to add another huge victory at home in this one and improve on their national ranking as they come into this game ranked inside of the top ten in the nation at 8th in the country.
Tony’s College Basketball Pick: Wisconsin (-192)
This is sure to be the game of the night on the college basketball slate, as we get two top-15 teams going head to head in Madison. Michigan State comes in at 14-3, including 5-1 in conference, but the one loss was a horrible loss, as they fell to Northwestern. The question now becomes whether Sparty can bounce back from that ugly defeat and get back on track, or whether they let the loss linger and continue to affect them throughout the rest of the year.
On the other side, Wisconsin comes in looking like one of the best teams in the country, sitting at 15-2, and 6-1 in Big Ten play. They’ve currently run off seven straight wins, and in this one they’ll look to improve an already impressive resume as we get closer to the last month of the season. The biggest difference in this matchup, to me, is the fact that the Badgers have Player of the Year candidate, Johnny Davis, on their roster. In a game that should be close and absolutely has the potential to go down to the wire, I like a guy as talented as Davis is to step up in the clutch, and get his Badgers a massive win at home. This game remains close, but Wisconsin eventually pulls it out late.
Noah’s College Basketball Pick: Wisconsin (-192)
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*Odds and spreads correct at time of publication, courtesy of FanDuel.