#10 Michigan State vs #24 Illinois NCAAB Predictions, Preview & Odds

#10 Michigan State vs #24 Illinois | NCAAB Predictions, Preview & Odds

First place in the Big Ten is on the line Tuesday night when No. 10 Michigan State visits No. 24 Illinois – the Spartans would remain in solo first place with a win, while the Illini and Wisconsin are a half-game back. Illinois is favored on the NCAAB odds.

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

  • When: Tuesday, 7 PM ET
  • Where: State Farm Center
  • TV: ESPN
  • Stream: ESPN app
  • Radio: Tunein.com
  • Opening NCAAB Lines: Illinois -6.5 (total 145.5)

Last Meeting

First of two scheduled meetings. The schools played once last season and the Spartans won 81-72 at home when they were unranked and Illinois was No. 5. Aaron Henry scored 20 points and Joshua Langford had 15 points and a career-high 16 rebounds to lead Sparty. Both those guys are gone now. “They punched us in the mouth,” said Illinois guard Trent Frazier, who scored 22 points. Frazier is still with the team.

The Spartans lead the head-to-head series with Illinois, 64-60, and have won 15 of the last 22 against Illinois and 17 of the last 25.

Why Bet on Michigan State?

The Spartans (15-3) were 86-74 upset winners at Wisconsin last Friday. Malik Hall had 14 points, eight rebounds and two assists to lead five players in double figures as MSU jumped out to a 16-point halftime lead. Freshman guard Max Christie added 12 points.

Wisconsin used a late run to pull within six points, 58-52, on a jumper from Johnny Davis with 10:11 to play. MSU responded with five-straight points – a pair of baskets from Hall and a technical free throw from senior forward Gabe Brown– and extended the lead to 63-52.

Michigan State out-rebounded Wisconsin, 39-20. MSU’s bench accounted for 43 of the team’s 86 points. The Spartans shot 52.7 percent from the floor (29-of-55), including 50 percent from 3-point land (6-of-12). Wisconsin shot 42.6 percent from the floor, the 18th time this season MSU has held an opponent below 50 percent.

MSU is 4-0 in road games (3-0 Big Ten), averaging 76.8 ppg and shooting 46.6 percent from the floor. Brown leads the team with 13.6 ppg, while adding 4.7 rebounds, leads the team in 3-pointers made with 40 and is ninth in Big Ten games, averaging 2.14 shots from 3-point land per game. Christie is second on the team with 10.5 points and has been named Big Ten Freshman of the Week five times.

The Spartans rank among the leaders in the Big Ten in scoring defense (No. 4, 66.1 ppg), field goal percentage defense (No. 2, 39.3%), 3-point field goal percentage defense (No. 3, 30.0%), rebounding margin (No. 3, +8.1 rpg) and blocked shots (No. 1, 6.4 bpg).

Why Bet on Illinois?

The Illini (13-5) were upset 81-65 at Maryland last Friday. While the Illini often dominate the paint, they struggled without star big man Kofi Cockburn (concussion protocol) as the Terrapins scored nearly half of their points down low. Maryland also outrebounded Illinois 33-30 and scored 11 second chance points.

Illinois’ guard play continued to be a strength as Alfonso Plummer scored a team-high 18 points with five three-pointers. Jacob Grandison and Trent Frazier added 14 and 13 points, respectively, combining for five threes. Plummer and Frazier combined to shoot 8 of 18 from three while the rest of the team shot 3 of 17 from behind the arc.

It’s the second stretch of back-to-back losses this season for the Illini, who also lost to Marquette and Cincinnati in November. It’s the first the time Illini have had back-to-back Big Ten losses since Jan. 10-16, 2021 against Maryland and Ohio State.

As of this writing, it’s not clear if Cockburn will play Tuesday. Cockburn is averaging 21.1 points and 11.8 rebounds per game in 14 games, vaulting him into the discussion for Big Ten and national player of the year awards. Illinois coach Brad Underwood didn’t offer any indication in his Monday press conference as to whether Cockburn will be available. Two of Illinois’ five losses this season came in games without Cockburn, and a third came in his first game back from a season-opening suspension.

“I coach the guys who show up,” Underwood said. “When (medical staffers) tell me they can play, they can play.”

Underwood did say that guard Andre Curbelo (illness) will be available for Tuesday’s contest against Michigan State. Underwood said that Curbelo played a season-low 14 minutes during Friday’s loss to Maryland and missed practice Sunday due to an illness. However, the aliment isn’t expected to sideline him any longer. The sophomore has only appeared in six games this season due to a neck injury, but he’s averaging 10.2 points, 4.5 rebounds and 4.3 assists in 21.3 minutes.

The Illini are third in the league in scoring offense (79.3 ppg), eighth in scoring defense (66.9 ppg) and second in rebounding margin (+11.2 rpg).

Expert Prediction

  • Illinois 76, Michigan State 70

 

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