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Free NCAA Pick Friday

#877 Illinois-Chicago +11 over Wright State 8:00 PM CT

Illinois-Chicago owns an ugly 12-14 overall record but the Flames have found some rhythm in Horizon play with a 6-2 run with one of those losses coming by just a single point. On the run of solid play Illinois-Chicago has been on the road a lot with five consecutive road games at one point but as it stands the Flames have won four of seven road games in league play with only one loss coming by more than two points with that being the first conference road game of the season. Illinois-Chicago stunned Wright State at home in mid-January with a 76-72 win despite a sloppy effort with 19 turnovers and a deficit at the free throw line. Illinois-Chicago scored inside with ease with a front court with three starters 6’8” or taller as Michael Diggins, Jordan Blount, and Braelen Bridges combined to make 19 of 28 shots. Wright State shot just 36 percent in that game as the interior points were very difficult to find. The small Raiders lineup is likely to have problems again in this matchup and this is a hefty home favorite price in Dayton. Wright State has lost two home games this season and while the team is 7-0 at home in conference play there have been some close calls along the way with six of those games decided by 13 or fewer points. Scott Nagy’s team has drawn the second weakest schedule in the league so far and Illinois-Chicago grades as the second best defense in the conference though a tougher schedule despite sitting in the middle of the pack. Turnovers are a concern for UIC in this matchup but the Flames look likely to hold their own on the boards while scoring inside with success against a lineup that is the worst in the conference defending 2-point shots. Illinois-Chicago has won three in a row in this series and Wright State has just one win in by more than seven points in the past seven meetings.

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