Monday College Basketball Odds, Picks & Predictions for Purdue vs. Illinois
Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images. Pictured: Trent Frazier (Illinois)
- No. 7 Purdue travels to No. 25 Illinois in a much-anticipated Big Ten top-25 matchup.
- Zach Edey and Trevion Williams will go head-to-head with Kofi Cockburn in the battle of the bigs.
- D.J. James breaks down why he is eyeing the over in this duel.
Purdue vs. Illinois Odds
-110o / -110u
-110o / -110u
After a double-digit home victory over a depleted Michigan Wolverines team, the Illinois Fighting Illini will host the Purdue Boilermakers in Champaign for a noteworthy Big Ten matchup.
The Illini are short home favorites over the Boilermakers, but pace is the most consistent variable in this game.
Both of these teams maintain top-10 offenses, and their ability to shoot from the outside should triumph and help contribute to an over.
The Boilermakers tout a potential lottery draft pick in Jaden Ivey and a sharp shooter in Sasha Stefanovic. Both of these players can make buckets from deep, as the two shoot over 40% from downtown.
Illinois is a bit worse at defending the perimeter than inside. Trent Frazier may be undersized, but he will likely guard Ivey, leaving the potential for Stefanovic to take advantage of Alfonso Plummer’s defense. Stefanovic could be poised for a big game outside.
In addition, Zach Edey is the only Big Ten post who can match Kofi Cockburn with his size, so Edey’s offensive contributions will still be there. If not, Trevion Williams could be guarded by Coleman Hawkins, who does not log as many minutes as Cockburn. Hawkins will have a tall task, and Williams could have a significant contribution, as well.
Illinois does guard the paint well. It has the eighth-best defense against 2-pointers, only allowing opponents to sink 42.4%. However, as mentioned briefly above, Edey is a tougher matchup inside for Cockburn.
On the other hand, Purdue is a bit lackluster on the defensive end. The Boilermakers allow 32.7% of 3-pointers to fall for their opposition and 47.6% of 2s, so Edey may be a step behind the Illini posts.
Illinois’ most notable obstacle is keeping control over the ball.
The Illini turn the ball over 20.4% of the time on offense, but to their advantage, Purdue’s defense is not necessarily too strong. The Boilermakers only force turnovers on 16.4% of their defensive possessions, so as long as Illinois does not shoot its collective foot off, it should be in good shape to run its offense.
Illinois is also one of the only teams in the country better at offensive rebounding than the Boilermakers. This means the Illini will have plenty of second chances for buckets.
Look for Cockburn to kick the ball out to Plummer and Frazier for sharp-shooting. Illinois will need to sink outside shots, and since Purdue tends to allow them at a high rate, the Illini will have the space to do so.
Jacob Grandison is another candidate who could be poised for a breakout game. He shoots 47.8% from downtown on the season and should manufacture outside opportunities.
The Illini defense also makes opponents hit their outside shots. 38.1% of opposition points against the Illini have come from 3-point land.
Since Plummer is the weaker link on defense, Purdue could exploit whomever he is guarding. This is where Stefanovic could come into the offensive equation.
After all, Illinois is a bit weaker at permitting 3s on defense. Opponents hit 31.9% of their 3s, so Purdue will also attack from outside.
Purdue vs. Illinois Betting Pick
This game will be a battle, but the points should be there. Illinois has a stronger defensive team, but Purdue has all of the right pieces to match the offensive attack from the Illini.
The Boilermakers have Edey inside, where the Illini have Cockburn. They have Williams to take on Hawkins. They have Ivey and Stefanovic to Illinois’ Frazier and Plummer.
Finally, given how both teams crash the glass well on offense, each should have many second chances to score.
Take this over at 152.5 and play it to 154. The two could be on fire from 3-point range early.