Indiana vs. Illinois Predictions, Odds

  • December 26, 2020
  • By Thom Cunningham

A big game in the Big Ten sees the Indiana Hoosiers visit the Illinois Fighting Illini.Tip for the rivalry game is set for 4:00 p.m. (ET) at the State Farm Center in Champaign, Illinois.



Indiana-Illinois Betting Odds

Line Movements
  • Spread: Illinois -6
  • Money-Line: Illinois -286 Indiana +220
  • Total: 145.5

Odds Subject to Change

Illinois enters this pivotal home game as the favorite, given a -6-point spread against Archie Miller's Indiana Hoosiers. The point total is set at 145.5, something Illinois goes OVER on more times than not.

Illinois has actually gone OVER the point total in eight of its last nine games this season, while Indiana is 3-5 on the O/U. The Hoosiers have covered the spread in six of their last eight games this season, while Illinois is 5-4 ATS.


Betting Analysis – Indiana Hoosiers

Straight Up - SU, Against the Spread - ATS, Over-Under (O/U)

  • SU: 5-3
  • ATS: 6-2
  • SU - Home: 3-2
  • SU - Away: 2-1
  • O/U: 3-5

This is going to be a tough game for Indiana to win, playing on the road against a rival that is better in terms of talent. The Hoosiers can more than hold their own however, if that wasn't apparent with their solid 6-2 ATS record this season. Indiana has lost three games SU this season, all against formidable opponents.

Indiana lost to both Texas and FSU on a neutral court, before dropping a surprising game to Northwestern. Typically, a loss to Northwestern would raise concerns but the Wildcats just beat Michigan State. Sophomore Trayce Jackson-Davis will need to continue carrying this team if they want to pull out the road upset.

Jackson-Davis averages over 20 points per game for the Hoosiers, while also leading the team in rebounding with 8.6 per game. This team cleans up well on the glass, as Armaan Franklin, Race Thompson and Aljami Durham average 4.3 rebounds or more per game.

In terms of what Indiana can control to win this game, they need to limit second-chance points for Illinois. The Hoosiers have the 77th-most defensive rebounds in the nation (219) and the 21st-most blocked shot attempts (40). If Indiana can get a solid performance from Jackson-Davis, while also team rebounding off missed and blocked Illinois shot attempts, then they have a chance to sneak away from Champaign with a win.

Indiana will need help though, specifically from Illinois' Wooden Award candidates in Ayo Dosunmu and Kofi Cockburn. The Hoosiers will need to lock these two down or hope for abysmal performances if they wish to pull off the upset. If Dosunmu and Cockburn are on their games, it will be tough for Indiana to win, even if they out-rebound the Fighting Illini and limit second-chance scoring.

Betting Analysis – Illinois Fighting Illini

Straight Up - SU, Against the Spread - ATS, Over-Under (O/U)

  • SU: 6-3
  • ATS: 5-4
  • SU - Home: 4-0
  • SU - Away: 2-3
  • O/U: 8-1

Illinois also has three losses this season, but all three losses are to teams with a chance to reach the Sweet 16. Missouri, Rutgers and Baylor are three of the nation's top teams and each can win their respected conferences. Illinois has lost three straight games after winning the game prior however, as the Fighting Illini took care of Penn State on the road in their last game.

If this trend continues, then Indiana will win the game - but the Fighting Illini have yet to lose at home this season. If that trend continues, then Illinois will win instead. Crossing trends should point most bettors to the better team, which in this case is the Fighting Illini playing at home.

In laymen's terms, the roster for Illinois is just better. Illinois has two Wooden Award candidates as Dosunmu averages as ridiculous 23.4 points, 7.8 rebounds and 5.2 assists per game. Cockburn is a beast on the glass, which he will need to continue being in order for Illinois to win this home game. He averages roughly 17 points and 10 rebounds a game.

The unsung hero of this lethal Illinois team is Andre Curbelo, who averages 10.4 points per game to go along with 4.3 assists. Outside of Dosunmu, Curbelo is the team's best passer and will need to facilitate well with Indiana's main defensive focus being on Dosunmu.

Illinois' offense is tough to stop, as the Fighting Illini average almost 90 points per game which ranks 15th nationally. They also have an offensive efficiency rating of 119.3, which ranks 20th in the nation. The defense could be better, but Illinois has the ninth-most assists in the nation (161), the ninth-most rebounds in the nation (383; 103 are offensive which ranks 34th nationally), sixth-best three-point percentage (44%) and sixth-most field goals made (295).

This team can score at will and rebound with almost anyone in the nation. This is because of Cockburn's dominance in the paint, so again, this game will come down to Cockburn vs Indiana on the glass.

Inside the Stats – Indiana Hoosiers

  • PS/G: 72.5 (181st)
  • PA/G: 62.6 (55th)
  • Off Rtg: 102.7 (163rd)
  • Def Rtg: 88.7 (59th)

Inside the Stats – Illinois Fighting Illini

  • PS/G: 89.3 (15th)
  • PA/G: 71.2 (202nd)
  • Off Rtg: 119.3 (20th)
  • Def Rtg: 95.1 (147th)

Key Players to Watch

  • IND - Trayce Jackson-Davis (21.1 PPG, 8.6 RPG)
  • IND - Armaan Franklin (12.4 PPG, 5.1 RPG)
  • ILL - Ayo Dosunmu (23.4 PPG, 7.8 RPG, 5.2 APG)
  • ILL - Kofi Cockburn (17.4 PPG, 9.3 RPG)

Indiana-Illinois Predictions

It's hard to pick against the better home team here, although Indiana is more than capable of knocking off any Big Ten team on the road. The Illini will rely on Cockburn cleaning up the glass and Dosunmu leading the charge. This is a great formula to win many games, but if either is having a slightly off night then Illinois is in trouble.

Playing at home against a rival school, in which Illinois is the better talent, the safe bet is to take the Fighting Illini to win. Illinois is playing five of its next seven games at home, so expect an overall decent run from the Fighting Illini in the next few games.

  • Score Prediction: Illinois 79 Indiana 71
  • Best Bets: Illinois

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