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Illinois Fighting Illini at #5 Purdue Boilermakers Betting Preview

The Big Ten Conference regular season concludes on Sunday with the #5 Purdue Boilermakers (25-5, 14-5 Big Ten) hosting the Illinois Fighting Illini (20-10, 11-8 Big Ten) to kick off the final slate of games. The matchup will be the first time these two conference foes will face each other this season.

Sunday’s action begins at 12:30 p.m. EST inside Mackey Arena in West Lafayette, Indiana. Purdue is an eight-point favorite, while the over/under total is 139.5 points.

What to Know – Illinois Fighting Illini

The Fighting Illini are in a seven-way tie for second place in the Big Ten standings, so Sunday’s contest is crucial for Big Ten tournament seeding. Illinois has won three of its last four to put itself in a position to claim a high spot in next week’s tournament.

On offense, Illinois is third in the conference averaging 74.7 points per game, connecting on 45.0% from the field and 30.9% from deep. Defensively, the Fighting Illini are sixth in the Big Ten, holding opponents to 66.3 ppg, 41.2% shooting from the floor, and 33.4% from beyond the arc.

Illinois is 17-13 against the spread this year and 5-4 ATS in road contests. The Fighting Illini are 1-5 ATS over their previous six games.

What to Know – #5 Purdue Boilermakers

Purdue has the top seed in the Big Ten tournament locked up, but the Boilermakers would like to end the regular season on a high note and position themselves as one of the top seeds in the NCAA Tournament. The Boilermakers are coming off a victory over Wisconsin, but Purdue has dropped three of its last five Big Ten matchups.

Purdue’s offense ranks sixth in the league pouring in 73.1 ppg thanks to 46.1% shooting from the floor and 32.7% from the 3-point line. The Boilermakers are second in the conference in scoring defense, limiting teams to 62.2 ppg, 41.5% shooting from the field, and 31.0% from three.

The Boilermakers own a 12-17-1 record ATS with a 6-9 record ATS on their home court. Purdue is just a 2-5 ATS over its last seven contests in Big Ten games.

The Pick is In

Sunday’s contest is the first time these two teams will see each other in action. A win for Illinois and the Fighting Illini could climb high enough in the standings to earn a top-four seed and double-bye in the Big Ten tournament. A loss and Illinois could find itself tipping off on Thursday.

Purdue has looked vulnerable over the last two weeks but remains a tough squad to knock off at home. The Boilermakers have been the most complete team in the Big Ten all season, and don’t expect Purdue to take its foot off the gas.

Purdue closes the regular season with a victory, but we like Illinois to keep the game tight over the final minutes.

The Pick: Illinois Fighting Illini +8

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