Illinois vs. Houston Odds, Opening Spread, Predictions for March Madness 2022

Illinois vs. Houston Odds, Opening Spread, Predictions for March Madness 2022 article feature image

Michael Hickey/Getty Images. Pictured: Kofi Cockburn

Illinois vs. Houston Odds

Illinois Odds-4.5
Houston Odds+4.5
Opening spread and over/under via FanDuel. Find more March Madness odds here.

The madness marches on as we roll into the second round of the 2022 NCAA Tournament, featuring No. Higher Illinois against No. Lower Houston. Find our expert's projected odds and more about how these teams match up ahead of the Round of 32 below.

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Projected Illinois vs. Houston Odds

Projected Illinois Odds+2.5
Projected Houston Odds-2.5
Projected Over/Under134.2
March Madness projections as of Selection Sunday. Find the latest NCAA Tournament projections here.

Illinois vs. Houston Matchup Matrix

Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how Illinois and Houston match up statistically. Data via KenPom as of Sunday, March 13:

Illinois Offense vs. Houston Defense
Turnover %12826
Rebound Rate30146
Free Throw Rate139287

Houston Offense vs. Illinois Defense
Turnover %96319
Rebound Rate495
Free Throw Rate236136

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More About Illinois

Collin Wilson: An opening loss to Indiana in the Big Ten tournament will have the Fighting Illini fresh for bracket play. Illinois struggled at the free throw line and hit just 35% from 2-point territory in the loss to the Hoosiers.

Head coach Brad Underwood finishes with a 6-5 record in Quad 1 games.

Illinois prefers an offense with heavy half court sets while running the pick and roll through junior Kofi Cockburn. Illinois is one of the best shooting teams in the nation from the perimeter, but severely struggles on defense against teams that score in transition, ranking 312th per Shot Quality.

Any opponent with high rankings in utilizing screens and jumpers could give Illinois trouble on the road to New Orleans.

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More About Houston

Kyle Remillard: Houston finished 26-5 on the season and dismantled the rest of the AAC (with the exception of Memphis) by an average margin of 12 points per game, closing out the regular season with top-15 offensive and defensive efficiency rankings in the country.

The Cougars defense utilizes relentless pressure, holding opponents to just 44% from the field this season, good for sixth nationally as of writing. They also block shots at the highest rate in the AAC, which is one of the reasons they allowed just 61 points per game to conference foes heading into the conference tournament.

Offensively, the group has proven to be elite even without Marcus Sasser in the lineup. The Cougars feature a well-balanced scoring attack with all five starters averaging in double figures.

The offense assisted on 58% of its made field goals during the regular season and dominated in the paint, hitting 58% of its two-point attempts. The Cougars are relentless on the offensive glass, finding extended possessions at the fourth-highest rate in the country during the regular season.

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Nick Sterling
Jul 21, 2024 UTC