Saturday College Basketball Odds, Picks & Predictions for Illinois vs. Indiana (Feb. 5)

Saturday College Basketball Odds, Picks & Predictions for Illinois vs. Indiana (Feb. 5) article feature image

Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images. Pictured: Kofi Cockburn (Illinois)

  • Illinois (16-5) and Indiana (16-5) tip off Saturday's huge college basketball slate at noon ET.
  • The Fighting Illini opened as 1-point favorites, but the betting market has moved towards the Hoosiers, who are now listed at -1.5 or -2 across the betting market.
  • Something has to give in a Big Ten conference battle between 16-5 teams, but which side should you back on Saturday? Read on to find out.

Illinois vs. Indiana Odds

Saturday, Feb. 5
12 p.m. ET
Illinois Odds
-110o / -110u
Indiana Odds
-110o / -110u
Odds via PointsBet. Get up-to-the-minute college basketball odds here.

Illinois will travel to Bloomington, Indiana to take on the Hoosiers after claiming first place in the Big Ten Wednesday night with a win over the Wisconsin Badgers.

Kofi Cockburn had a career night on Wednesday, but Wisconsin’s interior is not as strong as Indiana’s. Trayce Jackson-Davis (and Race Thompson) could help limit the advantage of Cockburn, even though the Illinois big man is a tall task at 7-foot, 285 pounds.

Illinois has a stronger backcourt, so this should provide an edge for the short road underdogs.

Illinois Fighting Illini

Illinois is 9-2 in the Big Ten, and Cockburn is a huge part of this. He will become even more pivotal in this road Big Ten matchup against a strong Indiana team.

Indiana has been out-rebounded by its opponent in every Big Ten loss, besides its game vs. Wisconsin. This will certainly come into play down low vs. Illinois.

Yes, Jackson-Davis will hold Cockburn in check on occasion, but Thompson is the only other strong rebounder on the Hoosiers.

Illinois ranks 10th in offensive rebounding percentage and 72nd in defensive rebounding percentage. Indiana ranks 188th and 53rd, respectively.

This shows that the Fighting Illini have an advantage on the glass.

In addition, when either Jackson-Davis or Thompson are not on the floor, Illinois will be able to significantly exploit this weakness. Other than those two, no Hoosiers player averages over four boards per game.

Meanwhile, Illinois has guards and other role players who can crash the glass, so keep an eye on this.

Illinois loves shooting 3s, with Trent Frazier, Alfonso Plummer and Jacob Grandison all being consistent outside threats that hit above 34%. Grandison and Da’Monte Williams seem to be breaking out of their slumps, so this added confidence should give a boost to the Illini.

Do not forget Andre Curbelo is also back in his second outing. He will surely log more minutes than the Wisconsin game, since he missed some practices beforehand due to the health and safety protocols.

It looks like Brad Underwood may play Curbelo off of the bench, so this is another added bonus.

It's also a mismatch to have this depth, compared to the Hoosiers.

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Indiana Hoosiers

Indiana does have the ability to make it to the free throw line. It ranks 55th in getting to the strike, and much of this is attributed to Xavier Johnson and Jackson-Davis.

Illinois does not foul too much, but the Illini may get calls against them on the road. Jackson-Davis could work to get the Illini posts in foul trouble, but considering Cockburn's height advantage, it might cancel it out.

Indiana does score most of its points inside the paint — only 26.3% of Indiana's points have come from outside the arc on the season.

Both Thompson and Jackson-Davis are extremely efficient at over 60% from the field. They will be able to take advantage when Cockburn rests and the Illini bench comes into the game.

That said, Benjamin Bosmans-Verdonk can log some strong defensive minutes, so the Illini have depth there, as well.

Illinois vs. Indiana Betting Pick

In Big Ten play only, these are the two strongest defenses, per KenPom. Indiana will be able to force some turnovers, but both offensive turnover percentages are pretty close. That means the turnover margin should be negligible.

Whomever logs more minutes between Cockburn and Jackson-Davis should help win the game. Illinois definitely has a deeper team, so the discrepancy between each squad going to its role players could be the difference in the game.

Indiana may be at home, but I think Illinois at +1 (play to a pick ‘em) should be the correct call here. The under may not be a bad call, either.

Pick: Illinois +1 (Play to PK)

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