Indiana vs. Illinois Betting Odds, Pick, Prediction: Lay the Points in Big Ten Tournament

Indiana vs. Illinois Betting Odds, Pick, Prediction: Lay the Points in Big Ten Tournament article feature image

Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images. Pictured: Kofi Cockburn (Illinois)

  • Illinois is favored over Indiana in Friday's Big Ten Tournament action, moving from -3.5 to -5 overnight ahead of the early morning tipoff.
  • The Hoosiers needed a monster late run to top Michigan on Thursday, but D.J. James believes Illinois will shut down this Indiana offense.
  • Get his full IU vs. Illinois pick and preview below.

Indiana vs. Illinois Odds

Friday, March 11
11:30 a.m. ET
Big Ten Network
Indiana Odds
-110o / -110u
Illinois Odds
-110o / -110u
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute college basketball odds here.

After Indiana staged a massive comeback against Michigan on Thursday, it moves onto Friday’s quarterfinal round to take on the Illinois Fighting Illini.

The last time these two met, Illinois played one of its best games all season, while Indiana struggled mightily defending Kofi Cockburn and the Illini's perimeter shooting.

After such a taxed second half for the Hoosiers, I'm looking to fade them in this matchup, especially against a well-rested, hungry Illinois group.

Indiana Hoosiers

Indiana thrives on the defensive end. However, the last time it met Illinois, the Fighting Illini shot almost 40% from deep and over 50% on 2-pointers. Trayce Jackson-Davis contained Kofi Cockburn only slightly, as the Illini big man put up 17 points and eight rebounds

Outside of the Hoosiers' win over Michigan, they have not beaten any KenPom top-50 teams since Purdue on Jan. 20. And it's not happening in this matchup.

For one thing, Indiana mainly can guard inside. It holds opponents to 43.6% on 2s this season — which ranks ninth in the country — but Cockburn is not the only offensive weapon for Illinois.

The Illini could be without Benjamin Bosmans-Verdonk (concussion) and Jacob Grandison (shoulder), but otherwise, they have the artillery from deep.

Indiana has allowed opponents to take advantage of it on the outside (32%). In fact, per ShotQuality, the Hoosiers rank 191st in Open 3 Rate. This leaves a noteworthy mismatch on the perimeter for the Illini to exploit.

In addition, Indiana’s offense has had some struggles. It ranks 95th in adjusted offensive efficiency, per KenPom, and much of its production comes from inside.

The Hoosiers get to the line often. This is where they may be able to keep the game tight because Illinois has a tendency to foul. That said, Indiana does shoot less than 70% from the line, so it may not be that significant of a factor.

Illinois Fighting Illini

On Illinois’ side, the Illini will need to excel from downtown. They have shot 36.7% as a unit on the season from deep.

Yes, Grandison being possibly out hurts, but Da’Monte Williams has proven himself. He has displayed some confidence as of late. They also have a solid bench with Luke Goode and RJ Melendez as backups, if necessary.

As strong of a defender as Jackson-Davis is, he can get worn down by Cockburn. This happened in the second half of the first meeting between these two. Cockburn will likely put together a solid performance again.

The Illini also guard both the rim and the perimeter well. Per ShotQuality, they rank first in Rim & 3 Rate, so they will not allow efficient shots.

This is obviously not good news for the Hoosiers. The defensive emergence of Coleman Hawkins is just an added bonus for the Illini, too. Since Illinois ranks 22nd (45.3%) in defensive 2-point percentage, it should be able to contain the post impact from the Indiana bigs.

Finally, Illinois has prevented itself from turning the ball over a significant amount. This can still be a concern for the guards on occasion, but Indiana’s defensive turnover rate is only 17.7%. The Hoosiers will not take advantage, so it should not be much of a concern for Illini backers.

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Indiana vs. Illinois Betting Pick

Illinois is such a tough matchup for the Hoosiers. The Illini have a great interior defense and can hit their 3s. Even without Grandison, they have threats in Trent Frazier, Alfonso Plummer and others to fill in the gaps.

Hawkins and Cockburn should limit Jackson-Davis too.

As long as Illinois does not follow too often, it should win and cover.

Pick: Illinois -3.5 (Play to -5)

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Nick Sterling
Jul 14, 2024 UTC