Sports Betting Picks

Morehead State Eagles vs. Illinois Fighting Illini Betting Pick

The Morehead State Eagles will take on the Illinois Fighting Illini on Thursday. This is the 14 vs 3 seed out of the East Region. The winner will move to the second round and take on the winner of Brigham Young and Duquesne.

The Morehead State Eagles are the winners of the Ohio Valley Conference. Morehead State won the regular season title, and then beat Little Rock on Saturday March 9th to claim the conference tournament title. The Eagles have won six straight games.

For Illinois, after finishing second in the Big Ten regular season, they were able to win the Big Ten Tournament. The finale on Sunday saw Illinois beat Wisconsin. Illinois has won four straight games overall.

The Fighting Illini are -11.5 in this game over Morehead State.

Eagles Flying High

The Eagles were not really challenged all that much in the Ohio Valley Conference Tournament. Wins by 15, 6 and 14 did the job. The last time the Eagles lost was on February 20th to Southern Indiana. That was their third straight loss, and at the time had them concerned about winning the conference.

On the offensive side, they are scoring 75.5 points per game. The Eagles made 47% of their shots on the season, and made over 9 three pointers per game. Morehead State is also solid on the glass, with 36.7 rebounds per game. The top scorer for the Eagles has been Riley Minix, with 20.8 points and 9.8 rebounds per game.

Morehead State is making their first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2021. That season they were also a 14 seed, and fell to West Virginia. The last time the Eagles won a NCAA Tournament game was back in 2011 over Louisville.

Illini Riding the Wave

The Orange and Blue are one of the top scoring teams in all of College Basketball. Illinois is scoring 84.4 points per game, which is tied for 8th in College Basketball. The Illini make over 8 three point shots per game. Illinois is also one of the top rebounding teams in America, with 38 per game.

Terrence Shannon Jr has been elite for the Illini. He leads the team with 23 points per game, while Marcus Domask is at 16 per game. Shannon Jr has gone four straight games with 25+ in each game. During the Big Ten Tournament, Shannon Jr averaged 34 points per game.

Illinois is looking to get the monkey off their back in the NCAA Tournament under Coach Underwood. The Illini have not been to the Sweet 16 since 2005. The last three seasons, the Illini have been beaten in games they felt they could and should have won. Last season was to Arkansas.

Illini Survive and Advance

The Fighting Illini are an incredibly talented offensive team. There are times when the Illini do not play enough defense, and it comes back to haunt them.

Look for that to be the case in this game as well. In the end, the Fighting Illini find a way to win this game, but it will be by single digits. When push comes to shove, we are going to bet on the Morehead State Eagles +11.5 over the Fighting Illini of Illinois.

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