The college basketball season continues to roll along on Tuesday night as there is a big matchup in the Big Ten Conference. It will be the Illinois Fighting Illini visiting the Ohio State Buckeyes and this game will have a huge impact on the standings.
Illinois is coming into this game with an overall record of 15-5, and they still have a chance to win the conference title. The Fighting Illini have won three of their last four games, but life on the road in the Big Ten has been tough.
Ohio State has really been struggling of late as they have gone just 1-4 in their last five games this season. The Buckeyes are hoping to get into the NCAA Tournament and a win on Tuesday night would give them a huge boost.
Illinois is a slim 2.5-point betting favorite on the road in this critical Big Ten Conference showdown.
Fighting Illini Can Score
The Illinois Fighting Illini have done a ton of things right this season, but they have really been winning games because they just have so many weapons. Illinois is scoring over 82 points per game, and they have scoring weapons all over the floor.
Terrence Shannon Jr. has returned from a brief suspension and he is leading the way with over 20 points per game. Coleman Hawkins does a little bit of everything for this team on both ends of the floor, and he can score the ball from all over the floor.
Illinois has also been a dominant defensive team throughout the year, but they have started to struggle a bit to get some stops of late. The Fighting Illini need to set the tone with defense, and that could lead to some easy scores.
Buckeyes Must Get Stops
Ohio State is going to have to find a way to be better defensively if they are going to get back on track this season. The Buckeyes have allowed 83 points in back-to-back games, and they weren’t even playing some of the better teams in the league.
This is a relatively small Ohio State team, and that can make things difficult in a league in which most of the teams have some size. Ohio State will be looking to slow this game down in an attempt to limit the possessions for each team.
Guard Bruce Thornton is scoring over 16 points per game, and he is going to be a huge key in this matchup. Ohio State can score, but they don’t want to try and win this game by outscoring the Fighting Illini for 40 minutes.
Illinois Rolls to a Win
It hasn’t been easy for anyone to win road games in the Big Ten Conference this season, and that has included Illinois. Ohio State should get a nice boost from the home crowd in this game, but they have also struggled to slow down some of the better teams.
Terrence Shannon Jr. is going to continue to become more comfortable as time moves along, and this could be a game in which he is able to take over. The Fighting Illini just have so many weapons on offense and they are eventually going to find a way to take control of this game.
Bet on the Illinois Fighting Illini to win and cover the 2.5-point spread as they are able to keep their regular season Big Ten Conference title hopes alive.