Indiana vs Illinois Odds & Prediction: Bet Illini to Win Big?
Pictured: Dain Dainja #42 of the Illinois Fighting Illini. (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images)
Indiana vs Illinois Odds
-110o / -110u
-110o / -110u
In one of the Big Ten's more underrated rivalries, the Illinois Fighting Illini will host the Indiana Hoosiers on Thursday night. Illinois is playing its best brand of basketball. The Illini have won four straight games, all in Big Ten play, and the closest margin of victory was nine points over Michigan State last Friday. Otherwise, every game has been a double-digit win.
As for Indiana, the Hoosiers are still hit and miss without Race Thompson and Xavier Johnson on the floor. This leaves most of the veteran leadership, and sadly nearly all of the offense, to Trayce Jackson-Davis. Indiana can shoot 3's with the help of Jalen Hood-Schifino, Tamar Bates and Miller Kopp, but Jackson-Davis will have the ball in his hands nearly every time down the floor.
Illinois plays one of the toughest defenses inside the arc, so expect the Illini to greatly restrict Indiana’s ball movement.
Typically, the Indiana Hoosiers would be an auto-bet in this game, but they have not won a top-60 KenPom game since November 10 at Xavier. They did beat Wisconsin at home on Saturday, but the Badgers were missing Tyler Wahl.
Luke Goode, who should return to action in the near future, is the only player the Illini will be missing against Indiana. Skyy Clark left the program, but Illinois has actually been better without him.
Indiana has a top-35 KenPom Adjusted Offensive Efficiency and shoots 37.1% from outside the arc and 56.1% inside. However, the Hoosiers rank 327th in the NCAA in 3-point attempt percentage, so although they are efficient from deep, they don't attempt many. In fact, nearly 60% of their points have come via twos.
On top of that, most of Indiana's offensive production has come from isolations. The Hoosiers rank eighth in points per possession (PPP) in that regard, per Shot Quality.
Illinois ranks 70th in PPP on isolations, but is first in defensive shot selection. Illinois ranks third in PPP when opponents attack the rim, and is holding teams to a 42.7% two-point percentage.
Illinois also holds opponents to the 19th-lowest 3-point attempt percentage, so Indiana should not get many open looks.
Trayce Jackson-Davis recorded the third triple-double in Indiana men's basketball history 👏
— SI College Hoops (@si_ncaabb) December 8, 2022
Illinois has a different offensive strategy. It shoots only 33.1% from 3-point land, but ranks 46th in 3-point attempt percentage. Indiana is allowing opponents to shoot 34.3% from outside the arc this season and ranks 213th in 3-point attempt percentage defensively. They rank 90th in Open 3 Rate and 77th in Rim & 3 Rate, per Shot Quality. This means the Illini will have plenty of open opportunities.
Photo By CBB Analytics
Illinois is actually better inside the arc, shooting 56.4% on 2s this season. Dain Dainja will probably meet his match with Jackson-Davis on the opposing block, but Illinois’ size should give them an edge. The Illini rank 36th in rebounding, while Indiana ranks 176th (Shot Quality). Indiana may steal some off of the offensive glass from the Illini, but this is a noticeable edge for Illinois, especially at home.
Indiana vs Illinois Betting Pick
Illinois is cruising right now, so betting the Illini may not necessarily beat the market. However, Illinois can negate every advantage Indiana has held over opponents this season. With Thompson and Johnson out, the Illini are a far better team than the Hoosiers. Look for Illinois to manufacture open looks and for Indiana to struggle defensively. Illinois should also own the rebounding margin. Take this from -6 (-110), and play it to -8 (-110).