Illinois vs. Marquette Prediction and Odds: Back Illini to Roll

Illinois guard Trent Frazier is looking to lead his team to a win over Marquette.
Illinois guard Trent Frazier is looking to lead his team to a win over Marquette. / Ron Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

No. 11 Illinois travels to Fiserv Forum to face the Marquette Golden Eagles, who are now coached by Shaka Smart.

The Illini were a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament last season, and lost Ayo Dosunmu to the NBA. Despite Kofi Cockburn still out due to suspension, Brad Underwood has veterans like Andre Curbelo and Trent Frazier as well as emerging big man Coleman Hawkins.

Can Illinois take care of business on the road? Let's check out the odds from WynnBET Sportsbook.

Illinois vs. Marquette Odds, Spread and Total


  • Illinois: -8 (-115)
  • Marquette: +8 (-105)


  • Illinois: -360
  • Marquette: +270


  • 146.5 (Over -110/Under -110)

Illinois vs. Marquette Pick and Prediction

While laying the points on the road in college basketball is a tricky proposition, I'm confident Illinois can prove they are a class above Marquette in this spot.

Smart is in his first season at Marquette and has a ton of new pieces to integrate with the roster bringing back less than 20% of the minutes from last season. Overall, the team is 347th in experience this season, per KenPom.

While the Illini may not have the well regarded talent that they had last year, this roster is still loaded with talent. The team is No. 4 in KenPom's rating at the moment despite being ranked No. 11 in the polls. Curbelo is a fantastic ball handler and should be able to handle the Smart turnover-driven defense.

If Marquette can't create turnovers, the Golden Eagles are going to be in trouble against an Illinois offense that has several shot makers on the perimeter and size with the emerging Hawkins and veteran Da'Monte Williams. The team hit the ground running, beating Jackson state and Arkansas State by a combined 63 points.

Marquette beat SIU Edwardsville by 11 and New Hampshire by five in Smart's first two games, a concerning sign for how this game will go. I'm going to side with experience and continuity in this one, and would play this to Illinois -9.

PICK: Illinois -8, play to -9

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