Ohio State's Big 12 struggles continued this weekend, a 25-point loss at Northwestern on Saturday, moving the team to 3-6 in Big Ten play.
Ohio State will return home on Tuesday in desperate need of a win, can the team come through as small home underdogs against Illinois, who has emerged as a viable Final Four contender? Illinois isn't without warts, though, evident in the team's overtime road loss last week.
Is this a perfect storm for the Buckeyes to get back on track in Big Ten play? Here's our look at Tuesday's matchup in Columbus.
New FanDuel users, sign up below and be eligible for $200 in bonus bets when you win your first $5 wager!
Illinois vs. Ohio State Odds, Spread and Total
Ohio State vs. Illinois Betting Trends
- Illinois is 12-7-1 against the spread (ATS) this season
- Ohio State is 6-14 ATS this season
- Ohio State is 1-3 ATS as an underdog this season
- Illinois has gone OVER in 12 of 20 games this season
Illinois vs. Ohio State How to Watch
- Date: Tuesday, January 30th
- Game Time: 7:00 PM EST
- Venue: Value City Arena
- How to Watch (TV): Peacock
- Illinois Record: 15-5
- Ohio State Record: 13-7
Illinois vs. Ohio State Key Players to Watch
Luke Goode: Ohio State's biggest issue has come by way of the three-point shot, and Goode is one of the best marksmen in the conference, shooting 40% from three-point range this season for the seventh-best offense in terms of KenPom's adjusted offensive efficiency. Can this be a big game for the Fighting Illini's wing?
Bruce Thornton: Thornton has upped his volume, but it's led to worse efficiency. He is taking nearly four more shots from the field and more than two shots from the perimeter while averaging nearly six points per game but is shooting way worse across the board. Can Thornton find his shooting stroke at home?
Illinois vs. Ohio State Prediction and Pick
Ohio State is likely better than its record states. ShotQuality has graded three losses as analytical wins in Big Ten play (to be fair, one win was graded a loss), including the team's 25-point drubbing over the weekend. The team has been gashed on the perimeter, allowing a Big Ten-high 41.8% three-point percentage, and the team is generating the lowest turnover rate as well.
However, some positive variance can go a long way for the Buckeyes, who are due a net three percent jump in three-point percentage against an Illini defense that is skating by on some lucky shooting variance as well as allowing 0.06 points per possession fewer than expectations.
Illinois doesn't face a ton of cutting action, which the Buckeyes run at a top-five rate, per SQ, which can rattle the Illini defense that also doesn't force too many turnovers but does a great job of funneling teams off the three-point line. However, with the Buckeyes' propensity to take shots from the interior off of cuts, could the team run its preferred offense en route to a competitive showing at home?
Off a disheartening road blowout over the weekend, I'm counting on the Buckeyes to bounce back and cover as home underdogs.
Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.
Track Reed's bets here!