NCAAB Odds, Picks & Prediction for Michigan vs Illinois

NCAAB Odds, Picks & Prediction for Michigan vs Illinois article feature image

Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images. Pictured: Joey Baker (Michigan)

Michigan vs Illinois Odds

Thursday, March 2
7 p.m. ET
Michigan Odds
-110o / -110u
Illinois Odds
-110o / -110u
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute college basketball odds here.

Illinois Fighting Illini fans had some alarming news Wednesday afternoon, as Brad Underwood announced freshman Jayden Epps collapsed in practice.

#Illini head coach Brad Underwood discusses Jayden Epps going down at practice yesterday.

"It was a pretty awkward and tough situation yesterday."

— Brice Bement (@BriceBement) March 1, 2023

His brother also announced on Twitter that Jayden is doing OK:

All praise to god he’s doing good🙏🏽

— Antwan Epps Jr. (@_antwanepps) March 1, 2023

As of now, hopefully the star freshman recovers fully and is back on a basketball court soon, but in regards to the game on Thursday against the Michigan Wolverines, let’s assume he's out.

On the other side of the floor, Jett Howard has been out for the Wolverines with an ankle injury, but he seems to be progressing, having gone through warmups the other night.

He very well could be playing in this one.

That said, it's hard to have a read on who is and who isn't playing and how the Illini may fare without their point guard.

Either way, both of these teams have the ingredients for a slower-paced game than they are likely used to, so look for an under in this spot.

Michigan Wolverines

Michigan ranks 149th in Adjusted Tempo, per KenPom, so this team fits right in the middle of most in the NCAA. The Wolverines hold opponents to 17.6 seconds per possession defensively and 17.7 seconds per possession offensively.

On defense, they are one of the weaker teams at inducing turnovers at 15.2% and 338th in the country. This does not bode well for getting out in transition, as the Illini rank 224th (18.8%) in turnover rate on offense.

That said, the Wolverines don't turn over the ball at all on offense. They rank ninth in offensive turnover rate (14.5%), so even though the Illini rank 127th at 19% and rank 38th in transition points per possession (PPP), per ShotQuality, this game will likely be played in the half-court.

Michigan ranks 42nd in Adjusted Offensive Efficiency, but it shoots below 35% from deep and 51.6% from inside the arc.

Illinois is a great interior defensive team, as it holds opponents to 44.5%. In fact, the Illini rank third in the country in points per possession at the rim on defense.

The Illini also rank 32nd on off-screen defensive PPP, 29th in cut PPP and second in pick-and-roll ball screen PPP.

Michigan is not as efficient on pick-and-rolls, but it loves to use the other sets. Illinois should stop the Wolverines in these situations.

This might be the best clip we get from Matthew Mayer all season. Goodness. Great weak-side rotation at the rim to block Bishop. Then comes down, crosses up Mitchell into a nasty step-back 3. This is so filthy from Mayer.

— Sam Vecenie (@Sam_Vecenie) December 7, 2022

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Illinois Fighting Illini

Now, Illinois, for some reason, shoots a multitude of 3s that never fall, outside of being from Matthew Mayer’s hands.

He is the only player on Illinois shooting 36%+ from deep, so the Illini's 3-point attempt clip of 42.9% will not fly much.

Michigan is not necessarily the best defensive team beyond the arc, but it has held opponents to a 34.5% 3-point attempt rate and 32.1% in terms of 3-point field goal percentage.

Illinois is typically a strong offensive rebounding team, though. It ranks 55th in the country at 32.5%.

Although Michigan only hauls in 25.4% of offensive boards, it ranks 83rd on defense, holding opponents to a 28.3% offensive rebounding clip.

This should cut into Illinois’ usual edge on the offensive glass.

If each team can rebound the ball on defense and restrict the other on offense, each will — more often than not — not have a second-chance shot on offense.

Photo by CBB Analytics

Michigan vs. Illinois Betting Pick

Look for this basketball game between rivals to be much more slowed down than Illinois’ 69th-ranked Adjusted Tempo would indicate.

Both teams could be missing crucial pieces to their offensive attacks in Epps and Howard. Let’s hope both recover quickly, but this game should go under the total, thanks to Illinois’ lack of efficiency from deep and the Illini not getting out in transition.

Michigan will also be strapped for interior shot opportunities with Illinois’ great 2-point defense.

Take the under from 144.5 (-110), and play it to 143 (-110).

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