College Hoops Betting: Illinois Fighting Illini at #14 Ohio State Buckeyes

Illinois Fighting Illini at #14 Ohio State Buckeyes
Sunday, March 10, 2013, 12:30 pm Eastern, TV: ESPN
Value City Arena – Columbus, Ohio
Opening Line: Ohio State -9 1/2
Current Line: Ohio State -9 1/2
Opening Total: 132 1/2
Current Total: 132 1/2
Opening Money Line: Ohio State -525 / Illinois +425
Current Money Line: Ohio State -525 / Illinois +425

Ohio State is a 9.5 point favorite at home Sunday against Illinois.

Ohio State is a 9.5 point favorite at home Sunday against Illinois.

Going into the last day of the regular season Indiana, Michigan, Michigan St, and Ohio St all have a shot at winning at least a share of the Big Ten title. Indiana is 13-4 in conference leads the other three by a game with 12-5 records. Indiana will clinch the title outright with a win Sunday at Michigan. Michigan St hosts Northwestern. The 22-7 Ohio State Buckeyes host the 21-10 Illinois Fighting Illini Sunday. Illinois is 8-9 in conference and is in 7th place in the conference. Illinois is projected to be in the NCAA tournament somewhere in the 8-9-10 seed range. The Illini started off the season 12-0 but have gone 9-10 since.

Illinois leads the series 101-65 against Ohio State, but the Buckeyes are 41-40 in Columbus. Ohio State has won 6 of the last 8 in the series, including the last 3 in Columbus. However, Illinois routed Ohio State 74-55 January 5 in Champaign. At one point Illinois led by 25 in the second half. Ohio State pulled to within 60-46 with just over 6 minutes to go but would get no closer.

Illinois is coached by John  Groce, in his first year. The Illini have losses to Missouri in St. Louis, road losses at Purdue, Wisconsin, Michigan St and Iowa Tuesday 63-55 along with home losses to Minnesota, Northwestern, Michigan twice and Wisconsin . Illinois has key wins at Hawaii, Gonzaga, Nebraska twice, Minnesota, and Northwestern, against USC and Butler in the Maui Invitational (a tournament the Illini won),  and home wins over Georgia Tech, Auburn, Ohio St, Indiana, and Purdue, and Penn St. The Illini have lost 2 of their last 3 games after a 5 game winning streak. Illinois is 11-16 ATS and the total is 11-14 this season.

Illinois is outscoring teams 70-65 this season. The Illini are shooting 42.3% from the field and 33% from 3 point range. Illinois makes 71.5% of their free throws. The Illini average 34.2 rebounds per game, and give up 30.9. Illini opponents are shooting 42.3% from the field and 34.6% from 3 point range. Illinois averages 11 assists, 7 steals, 4 blocks, and 12 turnovers a game.

Guard Brandon Paul averages 16.2 points, 4.4 rebounds, 2.9 assists, and 1.2 steals per game. Guard D.J. Richardson averages 12.8 points, 4.1 rebounds, 1.6 assists, and 1.5 steals per game. Guard Tracy Abrams averages 10.6 points, 3.6 rebounds, 3.4 assists, and 1.4 steals per game. Guard Joseph Bertrand averages 8.2 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 1 steal a game. Forward Tyler Griffey averages 7.7 points and 4.4 rebounds. Forward/center Nnanna Egwu averages 6.6 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 1.3 blocks per game. Sam McLaurin and Myke Henry also get time in the rotation, but no other Illini player averages more than 3.4 points a game.

Ohio St is coached by Thad Matta. The Buckeyes have losses at Duke, Illinois, Michigan St, Michigan, and Wisconsin along with  home losses to Kansas and Indiana. The Buckeyes have won 4 straight games after they lost 3 of their 4 previous games. Ohio St has key wins over Rhode Island and Washington in a tournament in Connecticut, Long Beach St, Nebraska twice,  at Purdue, Michigan, Iowa, at Penn St, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Michigan St, Northwestern twice and at Indiana Tuesday 67-58. Ohio St is 15-11-1 ATS and the total is 11-15.

Ohio St is outscoring teams 70-59. The Buckeyes are #23 in points allowed. Ohio St is shooting 45.3% from the field and 36.1% from 3 point range. Ohio St makes 69.5% of their free throws. The Buckeyes average 35.7 rebounds per game and give up 28.6 per game. Ohio St opponents are shooting 39.6% from the field and 32.8% from 3 point range. The Buckeyes are 48th in field goal percentage allowed. Ohio St averages 13 assists, 7 steals, 4 blocks, and 11 turnovers.

Forward Deshaun Thomas averages 19.8 points, 6.1 rebounds, and 1.3 assists per game. Guard Lenzelle Smith, Jr. averages 10.3 points, 5 rebounds, and 1.6 assists per game. Guard Aaron Craft averages 9.4 points, 3.6 rebounds, 4.4 assists, and 1.9 steals per game. LaQuinton Ross averages 7.5 points and 3 rebounds per game.  Sam Thompson averages 7 points, 3.3 rebounds, and 1.1 assists. Evan Ravenel  averages 5.2 points and 4.5 rebounds per game. Shannon Scott averages 4.9 points, 2.4 rebounds, 3.9 assists, and 1.8 steals per game. Amir Williams averages 4.2 points, 4.1 rebounds, and 1.3 blocks per game.

Illinois is 6-14 ATS in road games, and against teams with winning road records, 5-12 after a straight up loss, 10-25 in Sunday games, 0-4 overall, and in Big Ten games. The over is 5-1 in this series recently and 4-1 in Columbus.

The Buckeyes are 10-4 ATS in Sunday games. The home team has covered the last 4 in this series. The Buckeyes are 9-3 ATS in the last 12 against Illinois in Columbus.

Ohio State can clinch at least a share of the Big Ten title, ironically if they get help from arch rival Michigan. Illinois isn’t close to the same team that routed Ohio State more than 2 months ago. The Illini wil drop into a three way tie with Minnesota and Purdue with a loss. I like Ohio St at home, but Illinois keeps it closer than most people think.

Our college basketball handicappers are crushing the bookies this year. Don’t miss out on any more winners from now until the National Championship in Atlanta next month.

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Posted by on Mar 10 2013. Filed under College Basketball, Headlines. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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