- Illinois is a six-point home favorite over Ohio State on Thursday night
- Illinois is 0.5 games out of first place in the Big Ten standings
- A look at the Ohio State vs Illinois odds and matchup can be found below with a prediction
The #22 Ohio State Buckeyes continue their busy schedule when they visit the #15 Illinois Fighting Illini in a Big Ten game at 9:00 pm ET Thursday at the State Farm Center in Champaign, Illinois.
Ohio State (17-7/10-5 Big Ten/4-5 road) will be playing for the third time in six days as part of a stretch of seven games in 16 days to finish the regular season. The Buckeyes rallied to beat Indiana 80-69 in overtime Monday for their third win in the last four games.
Illinois (19-7/12-4 Big Ten/11-2 home) won at Michigan State 79-74 on Saturday for its second win in the last three games and sixth in the last eight.
Ohio State vs Illinois Odds
|Ohio State||+205||+6 (-110)||Over 141 (-110)|
|Illinois||-255||-6 (-110)||Under 141 (-110)|
Odds as of February 23rd at FanDuel Sportsbook.
Illinois is a six-point favorite in a game that will be televised by FS1. The Fighting Illini are also -255 moneyline favorites, giving them a 71.83% implied win probability.
These teams have similar March Madness resumes at the moment. This week’s projected March Madness bracket listed Illinois as a #4 seed with Ohio State on the #5 line. But oddsmakers see the Illini as a much bigger title threat. Illinois is +4000 odds to win March Madness at FanDuel, while the Buckeyes are back at +8000.
Ohio State Betting Outlook
Ohio States has covered in seven of its last nine games and has a 13-11 season record against the spread. The Buckeyes are 4-5 versus the number on the road.
Freshman guard Malachi Branham scored a game-high 27 points to lead the way against Indiana. However, his biggest play was a pass that set up junior forward E.J. Liddell’s dunk with six seconds left in regulation that tied the score at 63-63 and forced overtime.
Malachi Branham turns the corner and hits the runner pic.twitter.com/cvhB37PsXQ
— Aram Cannuscio (@AC__Hoops) November 10, 2021
It was Branham’s second straight game with at least 20 points and fifth of the season as he was 9 of 13 from the field and 8 of 8 at the foul line. He also had five rebounds and three assists.
In his last 13 games, Branham is scoring 17.0 points a game after averaging 6.3 in his first 11. His season average is 11.8.
Ohio State took control in overtime with senior guard Jamari Wheeler’s three-pointer with 2:58 putting the Buckeyes ahead for good. Ohio State outscored Indiana 17-6 in the extra session and held an 8-0 rebounding advantage.
Liddell, who had 16 points and seven rebounds, is a Big Ten Player of the Year candidate with averages of 19.5 points, 7.6 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 2.5 blocked shots. He has scored in double figures in all 24 games this season.
— Big Ten Network (@BigTenNetwork) February 19, 2022
Liddell is fourth in the conference in scoring and second in blocks.
Sophomore guard Eugene Brown III chipped in with 10 points, six rebounds and three assists. It was just his third double-figure scoring game of the season.
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Illinois Betting Outlook
Like Ohio State, Illinois has won seven of its last nine games ATS. The Fighting Illini are 13-11 overall versus the number this season and 8-5 at home.
Another Big Ten Player of the Year candidate, junior center Kofi Cockburn, led Illinois in its win over Michigan State by scoring 27 points and grabbing nine rebounds. Cockburn has a streak of 36 straight games scoring in double figures, which is the longest in the nation.
— Bret Beherns (@WCIA3Bret) February 19, 2022
Cockburn is the only player in Division I who is averaging a double-double with 21.7 points and 11.2 rebounds. He leads the conference in rebounds and is sixth in the nation while ranking is second and eighth in scoring and second in the Big Ten with a 60.8 field goal shooting percentage.
Cockburn has scored at least 20 points 12 times this season, including each of the last two games.
Illinois also has three other players with double-figure scoring averages – senior guards Alfonso Plummer (14.7) and Trent Frazier (12.4) and senior wing Jacob Grandison (10.5)
Grandison scored a season-high 24 points on Saturday after having 20 combined in the previous four games. He also had five rebounds and five assists while shooting 8 of 12 from the field and 6 of 10 on threes.
-Jacob Grandison probably
He hits his fifth three of the game as the shot clock expires and has almost half of Illinois’ 34 points. pic.twitter.com/jGBOvGPI0l
— Hoop Informatics 🏀📊🎥 (@HoopInformatics) February 19, 2022
Frazier added 12 points and five assists.
Ohio State vs Illinois Prediction
The teams last met in last season’s Big Ten Tournament Championship Game with Illinois winning 91-88 in overtime in Indianapolis.
Cockburn had 16 points and nine rebounds for Illinois. Liddell stuffed the stat sheet with 12 points, seven rebounds, four assists and three steals for Ohio State.
While Illinois is the more well-rested team, this figures to be another Big Ten war. With the visitors getting a hefty six points in the latest college basketball odds, taking the points in enticing.
The Pick: Ohio State +6 (-110)
The post Ohio State vs Illinois Odds and Picks (Feb 24) appeared first on Sports Betting Dime.