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Daily Underdog Picks: Nebraska will hang tight against Illinois

Profile Picture: Cam Tucker

February 12th, 2021

Everyone loves an underdog story, especially if you fade the favorite and your bet cashes. 

There are three significant underdogs in action tonight in college basketball, the NBA, and the NHL. We’ll take a look at their chances of beating the odds and either covering the spread or winning straight-up. 

Illinois Fighting Illini vs. Nebraska Cornhuskers

Sat, February 13 2021, 2:00 AM

Nebraska

Moneyline

+800

Spread

+14.5

Total

O 148.5

Illinois

Moneyline

-1430

Spread

-14.5

Total

U 148.5

The struggling Nebraska Cornhuskers are 14.5-point underdogs at home Friday against the red-hot Illinois Fighting Illini. 

The No. 6-ranked Fighting Illini are playing for the first time in six days, when they defeated Wisconsin by 15 points on the strength of a triple-double from Ayo Dosunmu after entering the game as a four-point favorite. The Fighting Illini have covered in each of their last four games – all wins – and now have victories in eight of their last 10 games. 

It’s very likely they get a fifth straight win tonight, but there is no value there on the moneyline. 

Meanwhile, the underdog Cornhuskers haven’t won a game since December, and are losers of eight straight. That includes three straight double-digit losses, and two losses against the spread as 11 and 11.5-point underdogs against Minnesota and Wisconsin earlier this month. 

Nebraska is 3-6 ATS at home this season, but, according to Covers.com, the underdog in this matchup has gone 5-2 ATS in the last seven meetings. Illinois needs to win by 15 points to cover, and there should be at least a little hesitancy to back a double-digit road favorite in a conference game. 

Pick: Nebraska (+14.5) 


Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Denver Nuggets

Sat, February 13 2021, 2:10 AM

DEN Nuggets

Moneyline

-1000

Spread

-12

Total

O 222.5

OKC Thunder

Moneyline

+650

Spread

+12

Total

U 222.5

The Oklahoma City Thunder are 12-point road underdogs against the Denver Nuggets on Friday – two days after losing to the defending champion Los Angeles Lakers in overtime.

The biggest challenge for the Thunder will be playing without leading scorer Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, who was averaging 22.6 points per game, but is expected to be out another few days due to a knee injury.

The Thunder were double-digit underdogs on the road against the Lakers two nights ago, without Gilgeous-Alexander in the lineup, and gave LeBron James and company everything they could handle – losing in overtime but covering by 10.5 points.

The Thunder have a 10-3 record against the spread as a road underdog, which tops all NBA teams. The Nuggets are 4-4 ATS as home favorites, while averaging 116 points per game and 111.9 points against per game. 

Pick: Thunder (+12)


Boston Bruins vs. New York Rangers 

Sat, February 13 2021, 12:00 AM

NY Rangers

Moneyline

+145

Spread

+1.5

Total

O 5.5

BOS Bruins

Moneyline

-180

Spread

-1.5

Total

U 5.5

The Boston Bruins and New York Rangers clash again on Friday, two days after the red-hot Bruins came to the Big Apple and scored an overtime win over the Rangers. 

The Rangers are underdogs again tonight on home ice at +155 on the moneyline. 

They gave the Bruins a challenge on Wednesday, but following an overtime loss with a win will be difficult given Boston has won four straight games and is climbing the NHL standings – not to mention the Stanley Cup outright odds

The Bruins hold the statistical edge in a number of key categories. They have the sixth best power play, the second-best penalty kill, and they’re second in goals-against per game. And they typically carry the bulk of the play at five-on-five. 

Pick: Bruins (-190)

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