#12 Illinois vs #19 Michigan State NCAA Basketball Betting Analysis & Odds

#12 Illinois vs #19 Michigan State | NCAA Basketball Betting Analysis & Odds

Both No. 12 Illinois and No. 19 Michigan State were upset earlier this week, but Illinois still has a shot at the Big Ten title. The Illini likely will be short favorites on the NCAAB odds Saturday at the Spartans.

How to Bet Illinois at Michigan State NCAA Basketball Odds & TV Info

  • When: Saturday, noon ET
  • Where: Breslin Center
  • TV: ESPN
  • Stream: ESPN app
  • Radio: Tunein.com
  • Opening NCAAB Lines: TBA (Illinois likely favored)

Last Meeting

On Jan. 25 in Champaign, Illinois edged MSU 56-55 even though the Illini were without superstar big man Kofi Cockburn (concussion) and starting guard Andre Curbelo (COVID-19 health and safety protocols). Both are back now. The Illini led by as many as 15 points early in the second half before Michigan State mounted a furious comeback in the final four minutes. Down by two, the Spartans had a chance to tie the game with less than a second left after Coleman Hawkins fouled Malik Hall as Hall drove to the basket. He missed the first free throw and made the second, then time expired.

Why Bet on Illinois?

Illinois (18-7) was shockingly dominated in a 70-59 loss at Rutgers on Wednesday. Rutgers opened the game scoring on 7 of the first 9 possessions, using a 9-0 run for a 17-7 lead. The Scarlet Knights led by as much as 13 in the opening half and as much as 23 in the game. They never trailed.

The victory marked five ranked wins on the season for Rutgers, the most ranked wins in one season in program history. Rutgers became the first unranked team in NCAA history to played four straight regular season games against ranked teams and win all four. Junior center Cliff Omoruyi had his fifth double-double of the season, with 15 points and 13 rebounds to lead RU. The Scarlet Knights dominated Illinois on the boards, winning the rebounding battle 46-28. They had 14 offensive rebounds which led to 17 second chance points.

While Kofi Cockburn and RJ Melendez led a comeback attempt late in the second half, Rutgers’ offensive attack was too much for the Illini. Cockburn did secure his 42nd career double-double with 20 points and 10 rebounds to surpass Skip Thoren’s program record. The freshman Melendez scored 10 points in the second half, and the Illini cut the deficit to single digits — but it was too little too late.

Rutgers forced Illinois into tough shot after tough shot. They kept the Illini guards out of the lane most of the game which forced Illinois to shoot 38% from the field and 6-of-23 from the three-point arc. Trent Frazier, Da’Monte Williams, Alfonso Plummer, Jacob Grandison, and Andre Curbelo shot a combined 9-of-33 from the field. Illinois was 16 of 28 on dunks and layups against Rutgers. That’s 57.1 percent. Everything else: 6 of 30.

Why Bet on Michigan State?

Michigan State (18-7) lost for the third time in four games Tuesday, 62-58 at Penn State. The Nittany Lions only led the game for a total of 2:07, trailing by as much as 14 with 13:20 to play in the second half. A 33-15 game-closing run was cemented with a 12-4 Penn State advantage in the final 3:04 as the Nittany Lions clawed back for first-year head coach Micah Shrewsberry’s first head coaching victory over a ranked team.

The Penn State defense held the Spartans 15 points below their season scoring average of 73.3 points per game. Seth Lundy drilled five 3-pointers to finished with a team-best 17 points. Eleven of his points came in the second half.

Junior forward Julius Marble scored 14 points and had eight rebounds to lead the Spartans, while freshman guard Max Christie added 10 points and three rebounds. MSU went ahead by four points, 54-50, after a jumper from junior guard Tyson Walker with 3:39 left. That was the last field goal for 3:36 for MSU as Penn State’s Lundy hit a 3-pointer and then gave the Nittany Lions a 55-54 lead with 1:37 left, a lead they would not relinquish.

Coach Tom Izzo lamented the Spartans lack of effort, stating they had gotten “punked and pushed around” by the Nittany Lions.

“I’ve been taking the blame when I deserve the blame,” he said. “And, right now, when you get that many loose balls and don’t come up with them, somebody on the floor has got to look in the mirror.”

After spending the majority of the first half of Big Ten play at or near the top of the conference standings, the Spartans have slipped to sixth place in the league. The Spartans’ final six games include matchups against the top four rated teams in the Big Ten. Two of those are on the road. The Spartans go to Michigan in that stretch, too. Kenpom currently has the Spartans going 2-4 in that stretch.

Expert Prediction

  • Illinois 72, Michigan State 69
 
 

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