College Basketball Odds, Pick, Prediction: Illinois vs. Purdue (Tuesday, Feb. 8)
Michael Hickey/Getty Images. Pictured: Kofi Cockburn against Purdue.
- Syracuse travels to Boston College to take on the Eagles in an ACC affair.
- The Orange are getting hot at the right time, as they've won three straight games.
- Kyle Remillard breaks down this matchup and offers up his best bet.
Illinois vs. Purdue Odds
-110o / -100u
-110o / -100u
Purdue defeated Illinois is double overtime last month in Champaign in what was one of the more entertaining games of the season — and perhaps a preview of the Big Ten Tournament title game.
Tuesday night we get a rematch in West Lafayette and Purdue has opened as a solid favorite. The Boilermakers have looked sharp lately but played close at home against both Ohio State and Michigan.
Illinois is a stronger team than both and has been great at defending the perimeter, which is a vital piece of Purdue’s offense. As for the inside, player of the year candidate Kofi Cockburn had maybe his worst game of the season last time out against Purdue big man Zach Edey, an outing he’s likely eager to erase on Tuesday.
Is the perimeter defense coupled with Cockburn’s opportunity for revenge the recipe for an Illini road upset?
Illinois is rolling at the moment and played possibly its best complete game of the season in a 17-point win at Indiana on Saturday.
Since returning from his concussion, Cockburn is back to being the intimidating presence he usually is, and is averaging 21.4 points and 11.4 rebounds per game. He only had 10 and five against Purdue, but he was getting knocked around from time to time and it’s likely that was when he suffered the concussion the knocked him out for a few games.
Having a fully strengthened Cockburn should help to stifle Edey, who dominated the Illini last time out. Edey had 20 points while being defended for a large portion of the game by backup Benjamin Bosmans-Verdonk.
Aside from Edey, the biggest contributor in Pudue winning on the Illini’s home floor was Sasha Stefanovic. He shot 5-of-9 from 3-point range, completely beating the metrics that say Illinois has one of the best perimeter defenses in the country. The Illini allow opponents to shoot 30.8% from three on the season and Purdue hit 44% of outside shots that day, which is unlikely to be replicated thanks to the Illini’s defense and most notably Da’Monte Williams.
Williams is the glue guy for the Illini. He’s not a stat-sheet stuffer, but he provides a boost with strong defense and the ability to crash the glass in clutch situations. In his last three games, Williams is averaging 6 points, 8 rebounds, and 3.3 assists. He contained Johnny Davis of Wisconsin to 5-of-19 from the field and limited the impact of the Indiana bigs in a major way in the Illini’s wins last week. He will be able to defend Trevion Williams or Jaden Ivey, and he will defend well. One of these will be partly eliminated from the game.
In addition, Trent Frazier will take either Ivey or Stefanovic and this should remove much of the offensive impact from Purdue. Illinois has all of the right defensive pieces to negate the offensive performance of the Boilermakers.
Purdue’s 3-point performance against the Illini may have been an outlier for the Illini, but not for Purdue. The Boilermakers are one of the best shooting teams in the country and hits for 41.1% from deep. A whopping 34.6% of the Boilermakers’ total point distribution comes from deep.
Still, Purdue ranks 106th in Adjusted Defensive Efficiency, per KenPom. The Boilermakers run on a great offense but lack the overall wherewithal to keep the Illini attack in check, particularly with Cockburn on the floor much more often than the last outing.
Opponents are shooting 48.6% from 2-point range on the Boilermakers. Illinois has a strong offense, so should be able to exploit issues in the Purdue defensive approach. Edey is far slower than Cockburn, and if the Illini passing is crisp they can also notch some options from their plethora of options.
Purdue also ranks 181st in 3-point defense, which is a big reason the Illini even stood a chance in the last meeting without typical Cockburn production. The Boilermakers allow opponents to shoot better than 33% this season, and they will not be able to guard Alfonso Plummer, Frazier, Williams, and Jacob Grandison.
The latter two were almost nonexistent offensively and should rebound in the rematch along with the rest of the Illini squad.
Illinois vs. Purdue Betting Pick
Illinois is playing its best ball of the season and having a fully healthy Cockburn should provide a much sterner test for the Boilermakers.
Illinois is a comparable 3-point shooting team and a better defensive team, which should be the difference here.
Take the Illini at +6 (-110), and play to +4.5 (-110). If you feel confident in a moneyline and potential upset, it is not bad value.
Pick: Illinois +6 (-110), play to +4.5 (-110)
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