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Ohio State Buckeyes vs Illinois Fighting Illini Betting Analysis and Predictions

The 22nd-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes will be traveling to the State Farm Center on Thursday night for a Big Ten Conference matchup against the 15th-ranked Illinois Fighting Illini. The Buckeyes are entering fourth in the Big 10 with a 17-7 (10-5) record and are coming off an 80-69 overtime home win over the Indiana Hoosiers on Monday. The Fighting Illini are third with a 19-7 (12-4) record and are coming off a 79-74 road win on Saturday against the Michigan State Spartans.

Last Games Records

This is their only regular-season game against each other this season but the last time they faced off was in the Big Ten Tournament Final last season. The Fighting Illini were able to pick up a 91-88 overtime home win as they shot 42.9 percent from beyond the arc throughout the game to give them the edge in the game. Duane Washington Jr led the game for either team as he ended up with 32 points for the Buckeyes.

Matchup Information

Time/Day: February 24, 2021 / 9:00 PM
Location of the game: 1800 S 1st Street, Champaign, IL 61820
Stadium: State Farm Center

Ohio State Buckeyes Betting Analysis

The Ohio State program has been doing phenomenally well this season as they are looking to be a force in the Big Ten Conference Tournament and beyond. They have been led by junior forward E.J. Liddell as he is averaging 19.5 points, 7.6 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 2.5 blocks, and 0.5 steals in 32.4 minutes on the court.

The Buckeyes are 7-2 ATS in their last 9 games
The Buckeyes are 9-3 ATS in their last 12 games as a road underdog
The Buckeyes are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games vs a team with a winning record

Illinois Fighting Illini Betting Analysis

The Fighting Illini have been leaning on guys like junior center Kofi Cockburn this season as he is playing 29.9 minutes per game and is averaging 21.7points, 11.2 rebounds, 0.9 assists, 0.8 blocks, and 0.8 steals while shooting 60.8 percent from the floor. He has shown to be a real problem for the opposing defenses as they do not have the size and skill to stop him in the restricted area specifically.

The Fighting Illini are 3-7 ATS in their last 10 games
The home team is 1-6 ATS in their last 7 meetings

Team updates: Injuries, Relevant Information

There are going to be a few players out for this game on both sides. For the Buckeyes, they will be without forward Seth Towns (back) and forward Justice Sueing (abdominal) so the lack of size can hurt them. The Fighting Illini have forward Benjamin Bosmans-Verdonk (concussion) questionable to play while both guard RJ Melendez (appendix) and guard Austin Hutcherson (hernia) are going to miss some time, including this game.

Ohio State Buckeyes vs Illinois Fighting Illini Betting Preview

The top sportsbooks across the United States have listed this game as the Illinois Fighting Illini being six point favorites in this game. The point total is also listed at 140.5 points as of this writing.

Ohio State Buckeyes vs Illinois Fighting Illini Betting Prediction

The offensive output for these teams are showcasing a bit of a difference, but not in the way you would expect. The Buckeyes are averaging 70 points in their previous four games while the Fighting Illini are scoring 70.6 points in their last five games. Both teams have shown the ability to put the ball in the hoop so it will be an entertaining matchup.

How to Bet on Ohio State Buckeyes vs Illinois Fighting Illini


This game is going to be a lot closer than the spread, so I am immediately tipping my hand here. The Buckeyes are giving up 63 points in their previous three games, including one going into overtime while the Fighting Illini are allowing 73.5 points in their last four games. The size that Cockburn adds for Illinois does not scare me as that just means he will be a liability defensively out on the perimeter. All in all, go with the Ohio State Buckeyes getting a handful of points to cover the spread here.


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