Illinois is a true contender in the Big Ten, but every road trip in the conference is a tough out, evident in the team's overtime loss at Northwestern earlier this week.
The Fighting Illini return home to face spiraling Indiana, who haven't been able to slow down any of the high end teams in conference play. Will this be more of the same for the Hoosiers, or can the team hang close with Illinois on the road?
Here's our betting preview for Saturday's Big Ten matchup:
New BETMGM users! Sign up below and get $158 in bonus bets when you make a first bet of just $5! Get started below!
Indiana vs. Illinois Odds, Spread and Total
Illinois vs. Indiana Betting Trends
- Indiana is 8-10-1 against the spread (ATS) this season
- Illinois is 12-6-1 ATS this season
- Indiana is 3-5-1 ATS as an underdog this season
- Illinois has gone OVER in eight of its last 10 games
Indiana vs. Illinois How to Watch
- Date: Saturday, January 27th
- Game Time: 3:00 PM EST
- Venue: State Farm Center
- How to Watch (TV): FOX
- Indiana Record: 12-7
- Illinois Record: 14-5
Indiana vs. Illinois Key Players to Watch
Malik Reneau: Reneau had a monster outing in a losing effort against Wisconsin last time out, scoring 28 points and grabbing eight rebounds. With Ke'el Ware is a game-time call for this one, which would take some of the frontcourt responsbilities off the 6'9" forward, but it's clear that he can handle extneded responsbilities if needed.
Coleman Hawkins: The senior is enjoying a fine stretch of basketball, scoring 20 or more points in two of the last three games. He has become a dangerous floor spacer at 6'10 and shooting 36% from beyond the arc and a willing passer with nearly three assists per game.
Indiana vs. Illinois Prediction and Pick
This is a lofty point spread for a conference matchup, but Indiana doesn't inspire much confidence given the team's inability to stay close to elite opponents like Wisconsin or Purdue, losing by a combined 33 points in its last two games.
However, Indiana has had more than a week off since the 12-point road loss to the Badgers to get ready for the Fighting Illini, who went to overtime at Northwestern earlier this week.
The Illini may not exposes Indiana's biggest issue: taking care of the ball. The Hoosiers have been a poor unit at protecting the rock in Big 10 play, 12th in conference play turnover percentage, but Indiana is bottom 15 in the country in turnover percentage, allowing offenses to run its offense but do a great job of running them off the three-point line.
Indiana should be able to put up points in this one with the team's interior focus and ability to get to the free throw line, but this game will be played on the Fighting Illini's terms in an up-tempo affair. Further, Indiana's defense is likely in for some serious regression after holding foes to a Big Ten low 28% three-point shooting so far in league play.
I think we see plenty of points in this one and I'll go over on Saturday afternoon.
Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.
Track Reed's bets here!