Ohio State at Illinois Betting Preview: Two of the top teams in the Big Ten Conference are set to square off on Saturday morning at the State Farm Center in Champaign, Illinois. The Fighting Illini will host the Ohio State Buckeyes in a matchup of Top 25 teams.
The Ohio State Buckeyes come into this game with a 10-3 overall record and have gone 4-3 so far in conference action. Ohio State has won two straight games and they bring some momentum into this matchup.
Illinois has gone 5-2 so far in Big Ten Conference action, and they currently sit in third place. The Fighting Illini did suffer a bad loss to the Maryland Terrapins last weekend and are looking to bounce back.
Illinois is a 4.5-point favorite over Ohio State on Saturday morning.
Ohio State at Illinois Betting Preview: Buckeyes Scoring Points
The Ohio State Buckeyes are scoring just 71 points per game this season, but they have been much more explosive of late. They have scored at least 79 points in each of their last two games, and they are a tough matchup for opponents.
Guard Duane Washington Jr. leads the team with 15.7 points per game, and he is the best three-point shooter on this roster. Washington will need to shoot it well, but Illinois has some terrific perimeter defenders.
On the inside, E.J. Liddell and Kyle Young will play a key role for the Buckeyes against Illinois. This duo has combined for over 21 points per game, but it will be the defense and rebounding that is needed against Illinois.
On defense, Ohio State is holding opponents to just 66 points per game. Slowing down Illinois is not easy, and finding someone to contend with Kofi Cockburn could present some problems in this game.
Ohio State at Illinois Betting Preview: Illini Searching For Consistency
Illinois has looked like a legitimate National Championship contender at times this season, but they have struggled to find consistency. This is a veteran team, and head coach Brad Underwood is hoping that his team will find a way to put together a run to get back in the Big Ten title race.
The Fighting Illini are scoring more than 83 points per game this season, and they feature one of the best inside-outside combinations in the country. When Ayo Dosunmu and Kofi Cockburn are both playing at a high level, this team is nearly impossible to beat.
Dosunmu leads the team with 22.4 points per game, and much of that damage comes in transition. Cockburn is a double-double machine, averaging 17 points and 10 rebounds game.
Illinois will give up some points, and the defensive end has to be an area of focus moving forward. The Fighting Illini have the talent to play with anyone in the country, but they must find a way to prove it.
Ohio State at Illinois Betting Preview: Illinois Gets Back on Track
Both of these teams should be tough to deal with in the NCAA Tournament, and each team still has hopes of winning the Big Ten Conference. This game should feature a ton of points, but that will favor the Fighting Illini at home.
Ohio State comes into this game red-hot, but they are facing an Illini team that is looking to get back on track. You can expect a great effort from Illinois in this game, and Ayo Dosunmu will prove to be the difference.
The Buckeyes will not make this easy on the Fighting Illini, but in the end, the home team will just have too much offense. Bet the Illinois Fighting Illini -4.5 over the Ohio State Buckeyes in this Big Ten showdown. Good luck everyone!