Illinois vs Iowa Betting Odds & Picks: Target This Big Ten Total

Illinois vs Iowa Betting Odds & Picks: Target This Big Ten Total article feature image
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Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images. Pictured: Coleman Hawkins (Illinois)

Illinois vs Iowa Odds

Saturday, Feb. 4
2:30 p.m. ET
FOX
Illinois Odds
SpreadTotalMoneyline
+1.5
-102
153.5
-110o / -110u
+108
Iowa Odds
SpreadTotalMoneyline
-1.5
-120
153.5
-110o / -110u
-130
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute college basketball odds here.

Most people would see an Iowa vs. Illinois game and think it will be a high-octane basketball game with plenty of fouls, since both teams despise each other.

However, on the season, Illinois is starting to see a bit of a trend in its games. The Illini are 13-8 on unders while Iowa is 12-10.

The Fighting Illini also rank 15th in Adjusted Defensive Efficiency while the Hawkeyes rank 133rd.

These are polar opposite teams because Iowa ranks fifth in Adjusted Offensive Efficiency while Illinois ranks 58th.

Even though Iowa struggles defensively, it has limited opponents from taking 3s. Illinois does the same.

With fewer 3-pointers, the under should be in play.


Illinois Fighting Illini

Illinois is a hot and cold team, but it has finally turned it around enough to be in second place in the Big Ten and 16-6 overall.

The Illini have done so with a lockdown defense. They rank 14th in effective field goal percentage on defense, which should come in handy against a potent Iowa offensive attack.

Offensively, Illinois shoots 31.7% from 3-point range, and this is likely because of the struggles from deep from Terrence Shannon Jr., Jayden Epps, Coleman Hawkins and RJ Melendez.

The only Illinois player hitting over 36% from 3-point distance is Matthew Mayer, and even he went cold against Nebraska on Tuesday night.

The Illini rely heavily on 3s — ranking 50th in 3-point attempt percentage — so this is what brings their overall offensive efficiency down.

Iowa is holding opponents to only 31.6% from beyond the arc. Essentially, Illinois will be forced to go inside for buckets.

The Illini are efficient as a team on 2s, shooting 55.6% as a unit. Hawkins and Dain Dainja are the trees down low, and they are both hitting above 58% from 2-point range.

Iowa is allowing teams to shoot 50.8% on 2s this season, so the Illini should manufacture some points inside.

Photo by CBB Analytics

That said, outside of Shannon, the Illini do not get to the free-throw line as often as Iowa. The Hawkeyes rank third in free-throw attempt rate defensively.

If Illinois is scoring, it has to be on an inside bucket.

Iowa Hawkeyes

Iowa and Illinois both run at fast tempos — 46th for the Hawkeyes and 67th for the Illini.

Neither of these teams are particularly strong with turning over the opposition. Illinois is better at 20.3%, but this ranks 86th in the country. Iowa ranks 187th.

On offense, Iowa rarely turns it over (14.8%). Illinois has some trouble with mistakes (19.1% turnover rate), but since Iowa rarely turns over opponents, the Illini could be in the clear for many possessions.

Iowa ranks 82nd in free-throw attempt rate. Illinois has been better lately, but it ranks 130th in free-throw attempt rate defensively.

Iowa will likely get the benefit of some calls at home, which could be an issue for under-backers.

Finally, Iowa’s defense may be rough in some areas, but it ranks 59th in shot selection (Shot Quality) while Illinois ranks fourth. The Hawkeyes also rank 46th in Rim & 3 Rate while Illinois ranks eighth.

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Illinois vs Iowa Betting Pick

This is a game between two fast-paced teams, but each has the defensive wherewithal to contain against the other’s strengths.

Iowa may be an offensive juggernaut, but Illinois plays stout defense and should hold the Hawkeyes in check at home.

As long as the Illini do not foul too often or turn the ball over on their own, this game should go under the total.

Take it from 155 (-110), and play it to 153 (-110).

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