Chattanooga vs. Illinois Prediction and Odds for NCAA Men's Tournament First Round

Kofi Cockburn and Illinois have a tough first round matchup.
Kofi Cockburn and Illinois have a tough first round matchup. / Rey Del Rio/GettyImages

The South Region features a potential upset spot with No. 4 Illinois taking on No. 13 Chattanooga in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Friday, March 18 at 6:50 p.m. EST. 

Illinois had a rough end to it’s Big Ten title hopes, and now it will take on a Mocs team that can match up size wise with Kofi Cockburn. 

Here are the odds for this game via WynnBET

Chattanooga vs. Illinois Odds, Spread and Total


  • Chattanooga +7 (-110)
  • Illinois -7 (-110)


  • Chattanooga: +240
  • Illinois: -300


  • 136.5 (Over -110/Under -110)

Chattanooga vs. Illinois Betting Trends, Insights and Analysis


  • Regular season Record: 24-7
  • ATS Record: 17-15
  • Over/Under Record: 17-15
  • SoS: 128th
  • Adjusted Offensive Efficiency: 110.0
  • Defensive Efficiency: 98.7
  • eFG%: 52.8%
  • FT%: 76.6%
  • 3PT%: 34.1%
  • Last Year’s Tournament Result: Ineligible
  • Odds to win National Championship: +3000 (Field)


  • Overall Record: 22-9
  • ATS Record: 13-18
  • Over/Under Record: 17-14
  • SoS: 8th
  • Adjusted Offensive Efficiency: 113.7
  • Defensive Efficiency: 94.1
  • eFG%: 53.1%
  • FT%: 70.8%
  • 3PT%: 36.7%
  • Last Year’s Tournament Result: Second Round
  • Odds to win National Championship: +2500

Chattanooga vs. Illinois Prediction and Pick

David Jean Baptiste and Malachi Smith are two of the better guards you’re going to see in the NCAA Tournament, and they may be the reason that the Mocs advance past Illinois. 

The Fighting Illini have Cockburn, who is one of the nation’s best big men, but the Mocs can send several different looks at him in this game. 

Illinois struggles to force turnovers, ranking 325th in the country, and I think that may be a problem against a Chattanooga team that is one of the better offensive mid-majors in the country. 

Chattanooga is 58th in the country in effective field goal percentage and 85th in turnover percentage. If you’re looking for a big moneyline upset, this may be the game. 

Lean: Chattanooga Moneyline (+240)

Find Peter Dewey’s full betting record here.

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