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NCAAB Tuesday January 24th Ohio State at Illinois Betting Preview

Fighting Illini Aim for Consistency

On any given night it seems like Illinois (13-6, 4-4) can beat – or lose to – any team in the Big Ten. Ohio State (11-8, 3-5) has one of those equations right after they had lost five straight conference games before a big 93-77 win over Iowa on Saturday. The Fighting Illini are -4 point favorites in the Ohio State at Illinois betting matchup.

Why Ohio State Can Cover +4 Points

Saturday was a nice breakout game for the Ohio State offense, as their 93 points was their second highest tally of the season. Brice Sensabaugh erupted for 27 points, Isaac Likekele had his best game of the year with 18 points and 10 rebounds, and three other players scored in double figures for the Buckeyes.

Chris Holtmann is hoping that Likekele’s performance over the weekend was a breakthrough one, as his experience and production like that would be valuable down the stretch for the 5th year Oklahoma State transfer. Likekele is only averaging 4.0/4.8/2.9 so continuing his success in the Ohio State at Illinois betting matchup would be huge. Sensabaugh has scored 18+ points in 10 straight games so the freshman has been as good as advertised.

Illinois is 9-2 at home this year and the Buckeyes just 1-4 on the road, but OSU just needs to look at how Indiana dominated the Illini 80-65 in Champaign last week as +6.5 underdogs to see this game is winnable. The Buckeyes won at the State Farm Center last February 86-83 as +6.5 underdogs and also in 2021, 87-81 as +8 point underdogs.

Why Illinois Can Cover -4 Points

The 80-65 loss to Indiana last week was a disappointing one for Brad Underwood’s club, but the Hoosiers are playing well with a three game win streak and there’s not a ton you can do when IU’s Trayce Jackson-Davis goes off for 35 points on 15-19 shooting.

Illinois simply has to put last week’s loss behind them, because teams do get cold and the Illini were an atrocious 9-21 from the free throw line. One positive from the Hoosiers loss was that Terrence Shannon, Jr. had 26 points, his third time going for 24+ in the last five. Illinois also has some extra rest after not playing since last Thursday.

Ohio State looked good on Saturday, but their 93 points scored also came against Iowa’s last place scoring defense in the Big Ten. The Buckeyes had also lost four straight prior to that game with the Hawkeyes – including two really bad losses 70-67 at home against last place Minnesota as -14 point favorites and 63-60 at Nebraska with a line of OSU -6.

Free Ohio State at Illinois Betting Pick

Ohio State looked good against Iowa over the weekend, and the Hawkeyes had actually won four straight coming into that game. Illinois’ defense is much better than Iowa’s, but Ohio State also has some real talent on offense and is the 3rd highest scoring team in the Big Ten.

Illinois just gave up 80 points to the conference’s #2 scoring team Indiana, and it honestly wouldn’t be a complete shocker if the Buckeyes pull off the outright win here.

Free Pick: Ohio State +4

Carl Taylor

Every loss is a chance to learn a lesson. That being said, wins are so much more enjoyable. Follow along to tap into the wisdom I've learned from 20 years as a sports bettor. Follow along on Twitter for more picks and DFS news @dailydogsports.

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