Ohio State vs Illinois Basketball Prediction & Picks: Illini look to bounce back against Buckeyes
After picking up a much-needed win over Iowa on Saturday, Ohio State will look to pick up another valuable win tonight when they take on Illinois (7:00 pm ET/6:00 pm local time, ESPN).
The Buckeyes (11-8, 3-5 Big Ten) stopped a five-game losing streak with a 93-77 win over the Hawkeyes in Columbus on Saturday. Now they will attempt to end a three-game road losing skid and hand the Illini (13-6, 4-4 Big Ten) a second straight home loss following an 80-65 loss at home against Indiana last Thursday.
Will the Illini get back on track after seeing their four-game win streak come to an end? Read on for our Ohio State vs Illinois prediction, as well as our analysis and picks for tonight’s matchup at the State Farm Center in Champaign.
Ohio State vs Illinois Odds
- Ohio State +3.5 (-104)
- Illinois -3.5 (-118)
- Over 145.5 (-114)
- Under 145.5 (-106)
- Ohio State +146
- Illinois -178
Expect Improved Accuracy from Illinois Against Ohio State
In Thursday’s loss to Indiana, Illinois was undone mostly by two things. Or, more specifically, the same thing on both ends of the court.
The Hoosiers got a monster game from Trayce Jackson-Davis, who had 35 points, nine rebounds, five assists, and three blocks.
Jackson-Davis was 15 of 19 from the field (all two-point shots), as Indiana shot 61.8% (34 of 55) from the field overall and 67.4% (31 of 46) on two-pointers.
On the other end, the Illini had a decent day from three, making 8 of 19 (42.1%) from outside. But that was the only thing they did well. On two-point shots, they shot 37.2% (16 of 43) after entering the game making 56.3% of their twos.
Things were also disastrous from the free-throw line, as Illinois connected on just 9 of 23 (39.1%) from the stripe.
It was just the second time in Big Ten play that the Illini shot below 50 percent on two-point shots, with the other being their 79-69 win over Wisconsin on January 7.
Also, Illinois has yet to shoot below 50 percent on twos in back-to-back games. So, it is reasonable to expect the Illini to shoot much better against Ohio State after the struggles against Indiana.
If they do shoot better, it bodes well for their chances to get the win tonight.
The Illini are a perfect 12-0 in games in which they have scored 74+ points, while they are 1-6 in games in which they have scored fewer than 74 points. And on the other side, Ohio State is just 2-6 this season when allowing 70+ points. while the win over Iowa was the first time in five games this season that the Buckeyes won despite giving up more than 73 points.
Ohio State vs Illinois Prediction and Picks
OSU vs Illinois Prediction: Illinois to win
OSU vs Illinois Picks: Illinois -3.5 (Best Value: BetRivers) & Illinois team total over 73.5 (Best Value: BetRivers)
If Illinois shoots the ball better tonight, which I expect them to, then they are likely to win and score more than 73 points.
Also, the Illini are 9-2 SU and 7-4 ATS in true home games, so I like my chances with backing them to cover a smallish spread, especially against the Buckeyes, who are 1-5 SU and ATS as an underdog this season.
Any Illinois win is likely to come another performance from Terrence Shannon Jr., who is fifth in the Big Ten in scoring at 18.1 PPG.
Shannon had 26 against Indiana (8 of 18 FG, 4 of 7 3PT, 6 of 10 FT), his third 20-point effort in his last five games. At Caesars Sportsbook, you can back Shannon to go over 18.5 points at -110 at the time of writing.
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Eddie Griffin has been writing about and Betting on sports for over a decade. For more of his thoughts on sports and sports betting, you can follow him on Twitter.