Sports Betting Picks

Illinois Fighting Illini at Purdue Boilermakers Betting Preview – Jan 5, 2024

The Illinois Fighting Illini and Purdue Boilermakers are set to square off in a Big Ten tilt on Friday. This is a battle of teams ranked in the Top 10 of College Basketball. Illinois is 9th in the latest poll, and are 11-2 on the season. The Fighting Illini have won four straight games, including a 30 point blowout win at home over Northwestern.

For Purdue, Matt Painter’s team is the top ranked team in the country. Purdue is 13-1 on the season. The Boilermakers have won six straight games. The latest win for Purdue was on the road at Maryland by 14.

Purdue is -10.5, and the total for this game is 157.5!

Edey Leading Boilers

Zach Edey is likely the Most Outstanding Player in College Basketball this season. There is still a couple months to go, but it is hard to argue his play to this point. Edey is scoring more than 23 points per game, and ripping down a team high 10.3 rebounds per game. Edey is a game changer in the paint, as teams have had to completely alter their defense to guard him.

Assisting with Edey has been guard Braden Smith. Smith was solid in the win over Maryland. The guard is at 13 points per game, with nearly 7 assists per game. Smith is also averaging 5.4 rebounds per game.

The Boilermakers following this game will be at Nebraska on Tuesday, before hosting Penn State on Saturday. After that, Purdue has back to back road games at Indiana and Iowa. These two teams will play again on March 5th.

Illinois Without Shannon

The Fighting Illini are playing without Terrence Shannon, who is suspended from the team until further notice. Shannon was having a great season. In 11 games, the guard was scoring 21.7 points per game, and ripping down 4.6 rebounds per game.

In the two games without Shannon though, the Orange and Blue have averaged 100 points per game. In the win over Northwestern, Marcus Domask scored 32 points, while Quincy Guerrier added 14 and 10 rebounds. Justin Harmon came off the bench and scored 20 for the Illini as well.

Illinois will go home for games against Michigan State and Maryland next week. The Spartans come to town on Thursday, while Maryland visits on Sunday. The Fighting Illini then go on the road to Michigan on January 18th.

Boiler Up

The last time these two teams played was back in March of 2023. The Boilermakers came away with a narrow win in that one; 76-71. Look for a similar game here. These two teams are pretty evenly matched. The Boilermakers have the paint presence, and the Illini win the guard play.

This should be a great early season Big Ten affair. When the final paint dries, Purdue holds serve at home. Purdue wins the game, but the visitors cover the large spread. Take Illinois +10.5. Enjoy the game and good luck!

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