Purdue at Illinois Betting Preview. The Big Ten Conference is the top basketball league in the country this season, featuring a number of ranked teams. Even the bottom half of the league is loaded with talent, and that will make every night a grind.
The Illinois Fighting Illini host the Purdue Boilermakers on Saturday night in a key rivalry game. Illinois is 3-1 so far in Big Ten Conference play, while the Purdue Boilermakers are just 2-2 in league play.
The Fighting Illini are 7.5-point favorites in this matchup on Saturday night.
Purdue at Illinois: Boilermakers Must Defend
The Purdue Boilermakers do not have as many weapons as the Illinois Fighting Illini, and they will need to be great on the defensive end of the floor to keep this game close. Purdue is allowing just 67 points per game this season, and they will be looking to slow the game down.
The Boilermakers were actually able to hold the explosive Iowa Hawkeyes to just 70 points in a loss earlier this season, and a similar performance will be needed in this one. Purdue does have plenty of size, and protecting the rim should be a focal point against Illinois.
Offense has been a bit of a struggle at times for Purdue as they are averaging just 72 points per game. That might work in some other leagues, but the Big Ten Conference has some explosive offenses.
Center Trevion Williams leads the way with 14.1 points and 9.7 rebounds per game, but he will be going up against one of the best big men in the country. Sasha Stefanovic is shooting 50 percent from the three-point line, and he will need to shoot it well in this game.
Purdue at Illinois: Dynamic Duo Leading Illinois
Illinois has a pair of potential NBA Lottery picks leading the way on offense, and both players have been great so far this season. The Fighting Illini have suffered three losses, but all three of them have been to high-quality opponents.
Point guard Ayo Dosunmu leads the team with 24.1 points and 5.2 assists per game, and he might be the best guard in the country. Dosunmu has let the game come to him this season, but he has a tendency or taking over games late.
Center Kofi Cockburn has chipped in with 17.2 points and 9.9 rebounds per game, and he is unstoppable at times. If Cockburn is able to stay out of foul trouble then this Illinois team is nearly impossible to beat.
Illinois will want to speed up the tempo in this game and force Purdue out of their comfort zone.
Purdue at Illinois Betting Pick
The Purdue Boilermakers and Illinois Fighting Illini have developed a nice rivalry over the years, and this should be another classic matchup. The Big Ten Conference is loaded with great teams, and every game will be a battle.
Illinois will likely show some signs of rust early, but they are by far the more talented team in this matchup. Once Ayo Dosunmu and Kofi Cockburn decide to take over the game, then that spells major trouble for the Purdue Boilermakers.
Illinois is set to go on a big run in 2021 and it will start with this game. Look for the Fighting Illini to take control of this game in the second half and roll to a win.
Bet the Illinois Fighting Illini -7.5 over the Purdue Boilermakers in this Big Ten clash. Good Luck!