Coming off of a 68-55 win over Maryland, the 16-5 Indiana Hoosiers hope to extend their winning streak to three as they host the 16-5 No. 18 Illinois Fighting Illini today at 11:00 a.m. CST. WynnBET has the game as a pick’em (no favorite or underdog) at -110 odds (bet $11 to win 10) while the over/under is 136.5..
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Here’s how we’re betting this game:
Indiana vs Illinois Prediction
Whew, getcha popcorn ready. With two Naismith Player of the Year candidates squaring off in Trayce Jackson-Davis and Kofi Cockburn, we’ll be in for a battle as both players look to for a signature win to boast not only their own national profile, but that of their respective squads as we inch closer to the postseason.
On the surface, these are two evenly matched teams. The Hoosiers come in with the ninth-best adjusted defensive efficiency in the country behind the fifth-best 2-point defensive shooting percentage, per Bart Torvik. They’re solid on the offensive end too, with the 49th-highest effective field goal percentage. Indiana shoots free throws at a high rate and rebounds opponent’s misses well.
They’ll be matched up against an Illinois team that boasts the 15th-best adjusted offensive efficiency and 25th-ranked defensive efficiency. The Fighting Illini have one of the highest offensive rebounding rates in America and will give themselves plenty of second-chance opportunities if the shots aren’t falling.
But not everything is at it seems on the surface. Indiana is at home, after all, where they’re a marvelous 13-1 outright and have covered the spread in 10 of their last 11. Meanwhile, Illinois has been sputtering a bit despite a three-game winning streak.
Prior to their 13-point win over a Wisconsin team that shot just 3-24 from beyond the arc, the Fighting Illini had covered the spread just once in their last five contests. They’re just 3-6 against the spread on the road and haven’t covered away from the friendly confines of the State Farm Center in over a month.
Assembly Hall certainly does not qualify as “friendly confines” as one of the premier venues in college basketball.
I’ll take Indiana (-110) in this one as they continue their home dominance behind a statement game from Jackson-Davis. The Hoosiers need this win to keep pace with Illinois in the Big Ten Conference race and I think they’ll be laser-focused in front of a frenzied crowd.
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