College Basketball Odds, Pick for Illinois vs Iowa

College Basketball Odds, Pick for Illinois vs Iowa article feature image

Keith Gillett/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Iowa’s Josh Dix.

Illinois vs Iowa Odds, Pick

Sunday, March 10
7 p.m. ET
Illinois Odds
Point SpreadTotal PointsMoneyline
-110o / -110u
Iowa Odds
Point SpreadTotal PointsMoneyline
-110o / -110u
Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NCAAB odds here.

Iowa has a chance to secure its spot in the NCAA tournament with a significant win over Illinois in Iowa City on Sunday.

The Hawkeyes have been playing exceptionally well of late, winning four of their last five, including a crucial victory on the road against Northwestern last weekend.

However, Illinois is also playing great basketball and could secure a No. 2 seed in the NCAA Tournament if it continues to perform well. Brad Underwood's team has been a dominant force all season and is looking to make a deep run in March.

Since it's Senior Night at Carver-Hawkeye, the crowd will buzz from the opening tip.

Illinois Fighting Illini

It seems like nobody is talking about the Illini as a threat to win a national title, but Underwood's team is built to make noise in March. They enter the regular-season finale ranked fourth in adjusted offensive efficiency and top-100 in adjusted defensive efficiency.

Guard Terrence Shannon Jr. is one of the most dynamic players in the sport on both ends of the floor and is complemented by an incredible group of talent. Forward Coleman Hawkins and guard Marcus Domask provide plenty of offensive versatility that makes the Illini incredibly dangerous.

The path to a road win lies with the offense, as the Hawkeyes have been a bad defensive team all season. Iowa sits outside the bottom 200 in effective field-goal percentage and opponent 3-point percentage.

I have no doubt the Illini will be able to score at will, but their defense gives me cause for concern. They may seem like a decent defensive team, but they don't force turnovers and have been getting killed on the perimeter.

Illinois doesn't give up many 3s per game, so that would suggest it's due for positive regression. However, its inability to force turnovers worries me — especially against a red-hot Iowa offense.

Iowa Hawkeyes

The Hawkeyes need a win to put themselves in a great position to make the NCAA Tournament. After an impressive performance at Northwestern on Saturday, they've had a week off to prepare for Illinois.

Iowa's defensive issues need to be sorted out to stop Illinois, but its offense is humming. The Hawkeyes rank ninth in adjusted offensive efficiency.

The emergence of Josh Dix has been critical to the Hawkeyes' success, as he's shooting a ridiculous 46.2% from deep. They're a much more dynamic team with him on the floor.

The majority of the scoring has funneled through the frontcourt, thanks to Owen Freeman and Ben Krikke. They'll have to bring their best effort against the Illini considering they do a solid job of defending inside.

I'm not concerned about Iowa's offense because it's elite at the charity stripe and protects the basketball. To me, these are the biggest factors in the game.

There's good reason to be worried about the defense, but the home crowd should provide plenty of juice on Senior Night. This game means a hell of a lot more to the Hawkeyes than the Illini, so they should be ready to go right away.

Illinois vs Iowa

Betting Pick & Prediction

I'm terrified of Illinois' offense facing Iowa's defense, but Fran McCaffery will have his team ready to play.

The Hawkeyes need a win in the worst way to make the Big Dance, especially with a few teams potentially stealing bids from other conferences.

Iowa's offense is more than good enough to hang with Illinois, and the Hawkeyes will clearly be the most motivated team on the floor. Not only is this a must-win, but it's also Senior Night.

I'm buying this Iowa team. Its offense is good enough all over the floor to compensate for its terrible defense. The Illini are an excellent team, but this is simply not a great spot for them.

Pick: Iowa +1

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Nick Sterling
May 21, 2024 UTC