The March 1st Indiana at Illinois betting pick is a big one for the Fighting Illini. Brad Underwood’s team is part of the log jam at the top of the conference with the top 4 teams getting the all important ‘double bye’ in the Big 10 tourney. A win over the Hoosiers would also give Illinois their first 20-win season in the last 3 years.
Indiana is a +5.5 favorite on Sunday afternoon in Champaign. IU needs a win in their own rights as their tournament hopes are on life support. The Hoosiers have beaten the Illini three times in a row in the series however, including by 18 in last year’s conference tourney.
Hoosiers Try to Find Offense
The big question for the Hoosiers heading into the March 1st Indiana at Illinois betting pick is whether or not they can find some offense. Indiana has been held to 50 points or less twice over the last month-plus of play and Devonte Green was the only player in double figures last game vs. Purdue.
Archie Miller’s team has especially struggled on the road, going 1-4 ATS their last 5 road games. The Hoosiers did have a nice 68-56 win in Minnesota as +5.5 underdogs, but otherwise has lost by 15 at Penn State, 9 at Ohio State, 24 at Michigan, and 8 at Purdue over their last 5 road games. IU is just 2-7 going away this season.
One thing Indiana does have to fall back on in Sunday’s game is their recent success over the Illini. The Hoosiers have won 3 straight and 7 of 8 in the series. This is a much improved Illinois team this season though – improved enough to cover the -5.5 number though?
Illinois Back in Their Groove?
The Fighting Illini are streaking in the right direction to wind down the Big 10 regular season. They suffered a tough 1-point home loss to Michigan State and then lost at Rutgers without Ayo Dosunmu but have since rattled off three straight victories – the biggest being a 62-56 win in Penn State as +5.5 underdogs.
Maryland sits atop the conference with a 13-5 record. After that it’s Michigan State at 12-6 who 11-6 Illinois can tie for 2nd place with a win on Sunday. Iowa, Penn State, and Wisconsin also all have 11 wins however so that’s 6 teams vying for the coveted top 4 spots in the conference tournament that would result in the double bye. Basically, this is a big one for the Illini – especially with their recent struggles vs. Indiana.
Illinois definitely has the depth to cover this number. Dosunmu was just named Big Ten player of the week and has scored in double figures in 12 straight games. 7’0, 290 pound Kofi Cockburn is a force in the middle that just grabbed 14 boards vs. Northwestern on Thursday. Alan Griffin came off the bench last game and hit 6 of 8 three pointers as well.
March 1st Indiana at Illinois Betting Prediction
Illinois being favored by 3 here would look much better considering the success Indiana has had vs. the Fighting Illini over the last 8 meetings. That being said, it’s hard to trust the Hoosiers even at +5.5 on the road. There’s that beating in Ann Arbor two weeks ago and absolutely no offensive output in Purdue on Thursday that looms large for Indiana.
Pick: Illinois Fighting Illini -5.5