Illinois Fighting Illini vs. Marquette Golden Eagles Picks, Predictions, Odds

Nov. 15, 2021
Dan Dobish
VI Betting Expert

The Illinois Fighting Illini (2-0) travel to meet the Marquette Golden Eagles (2-0) at the Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee, Wisc. on Monday. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. ET, and the game can be viewed on FOX Sports 1.

Score Prediction

Illinois 81, Marquette 66

Best Bets

Illinois -8.5 (-110)

Over 143 (-110)

Illinois Fighting Illini vs. Marquette Golden Eagles Predictions

The Fighting Illini opened with a 71-47 win over Jackson State, narrowly missing the cover as 25-point favorites as the UNDER connected. Illinois absolutely dismantled visiting Arkansas State on Saturday, crushing the Red Wolves 92-53 to easily cover a 16.5-point number as the OVER came through. It had just three players in double digits in points, led by F Coleman Hawkins, who posted 17 points, 12 rebounds, four blocked shots and four assists in his 27 minutes.

The only thing which could be worth watching going forward is the free-throw shooting by the Illini. Illinois managed to hit just 5-of-25 from behind the arc vs. Ark State, and just 23-of-38 from behind the arc, or just 61%. That's simply not going to do when the schedule tightens up against good teams. The Marquette game will be a good test for the Illini. Of course, remember the Illini are doing all of this without C Kofi Cockburn, who was slapped with a three-game suspension for selling NCAA-issued apparel and memorabilia over the summer. It happened in June, before NIL legislation in the state of Illinois was passed July 1. So the penalty was upheld, and the Marquette game is his third and final game of the suspension.

Marquette won 88-77 against Southern Illinois-Edwardsville on Tuesday, coming nowhere near a cover. New Hampshire paid a visit to Fiserv Friday, and the Golden Eagles narrowly escaped UNH with a 75-70 win. Maryland transfer G Darryl Morsell was one of just two players in double digits against UNH, going for 26 points, five assists and three rebounds. F Justin Lewis added the double-double, going for 17 points and 10 boards. Those two have done a good job steadying the ship with Cockburn out.

lllinois Fighting Illini vs. Marquette Golden Eagles Betting Odds

More Odds | Futures Odds

  • Illinois -380
  • Marquette +290
  • Illinois -8.5 (-110)
  • Marquette +8.5 (-110)
  • Over 143 (-110)
  • Under 143 (-110)
  • lllinois Fighting Illini vs. Marquette Golden Eagles Betting Resources

    • Matchup: Big 10 vs. Big East
    • Date: Monday, November 15, 2021
    • Venue: Fiserv Forum
    • Location: Milwaukee, Wisconsin
    • TV-Time: FS1 - 7:00 p.m. ET

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    Illinois Fighting Illini Betting Analysis

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

    • SU: 2-0
    • ATS: 1-1
    • O/U: 1-1

    The Illini have done a decent job without Cockburn, with three guys averaging double digits in points to pick up the slack. Illinois is still averaging 81.5 PPG, which is good for just 111th overall, although it's super early. The 62.7% from free throws is also an early, glaring number which could change rather quickly. And the 30.4% number from behind the 3-point line is another area which needs marked improvement.

    Defensively, the Illini have not let in much. Illinois is showing why its a Top 10 ranked team, yielding just 50.0 PPG, while the opposition is hitting just 33.6%. The high-water mark for points against is 53, as Ark State managed to do that. Marquette figures to give Illinois a much bigger test in the final game with Cockburn, but we'll see.

    Illinois closed out the road schedule with a 3-0 ATS mark, and it was 7-2 ATS in the final road outings of the 2020-21 slate.

    Marquette Golden Eagles Betting Analysis

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

    • SU: 2-0
    • ATS: 0-2
    • O/U: 2-0

    Marquette looked OK against SIUE, and they were nearly upset at home against UNH. While the offense has been decent enough, and the Golden Eagles have hit the OVER in both outings, there is some concern in its first true test against Illinois. Even without Cockburn, this is easily the deepest and most talented team Marquette will have faced, and it has had problems with some smallish teams to date.

    Marquette has been so-so in free-throw percentage at 73.8%, and it has been abysmal from behind the 3-point line at 26.4%, ranking 294th so far this season. It's early, but still alarming. Defensively, the Golden Eagles haven't been very good, either, yielding 73.5 PPG, while teams have hit 42.7% from the floor, and 34.1% from behind the arc. It's even worse that Marquette has averaged 35.5 offensive rebounds to just 35.0 defensive rebounds. That's in two cupcake games, so you can expect Illinois to have a huge advantage in boards.

    The Golden Eagles have won four in a row on its home floor, but they're just 2-5 ATS across the past seven at home dating back to last season. The OVER has cashed in three straight non-conference home games for Marquette.

    Illinois looks for a third consecutive win, and second straight cover, on Monday. (AP)

    Inside the Stats - Illinois Fighting Illini

    • Record: 2-0
    • VI Ranking: 8
    • PS/G: 81.5
    • PA/G: 50.0
    • ORtg: 48.5
    • DRtg: 25.5

    Inside the Stats - Marquette Golden Eagles

    • Record: 2-0
    • VI Ranking: 95
    • PS/G: 81.5
    • PA/G: 73.5
    • ORtg: 35.5
    • DRtg: 35.0

    Key Players to Watch

    • ILL: Jacob Grandison - G (17.5 PPG, 5.5 RPG, 42.9 3P%)
    • ILL: Coleman Hawkins - F (15.0 PPG, 10.0 RPG, 3.5 APG)
    • MARQ: Darryl Morsell - G (23.5 PPG, 3.5 RPG, 3.5 APG)
    • MARQ: Justin Lewis - F (17.0 PPG, 11.0 RPG, 1.5 SPG)

    Illinois Fighting Illini vs. Marquette Golden Eagles Betting Conclusion

    This is the first time we've seen these teams play each other in 28 years. Illinois leads the all-time series 9-5, and will put another win on the board against Marquette on Monday night. The Golden Eagles catch a break not having to deal with the Big Ten Player of the Year candidate Cockburn, but the Illini have plenty of depth with Grandison and Hawkins, as well as Gs Andre Curbelo and Trent Frazier, who have yet to have a big game during the young season. It will come with time, and Frazier has actually had better splits on the road in recent seasons while hitting timely shots. Don't be surprised to see him factor in.

    Marquette has the same win-loss record as Illinois, but in terms of talent and potential, these teams aren't even on the same plane. Even without Cockburn, the Illini are going to get another double-digit win. The Golden Eagles just cannot tap into the same kind of depth as Illini, who can go eight or nine deep in these early-season games. Look for Illinois to run the all-time series record to 10-5 with a rout in Milwaukee.

    Illinois Fighting Illini vs. Marquette Golden Eagles Betting Trends

    • Illinois has covered 10 of the its past 14 regular-season games overall.
    • Illinois is 7-2 ATS in its past nine road games.
    • The OVER is 8-4 in the past 12 road games for Illinois.
    • Marquette is 4-0 SU in the past four home games.