Last Updated Dec 22, 2021, 10:38 AM

Notre Dame Fighting Irish vs. Illinois Fighting Illini Picks, Predictions, Odds

Nov. 29, 2021
Dan Dobish
VI Betting Expert

The Notre Dame Fighting Irish (3-2) hit the road for State Farm Center in Champaign, Ill. to battle the Illinois Fighting Illini (4-2) in the Big Ten-ACC Challenge on Monday. Tip-off is scheduled for 9 p.m. ET, and the game can be viewed on ESPN2.

Score Prediction

Illinois 72, Notre Dame 68

Best Bets

Notre Dame +6.5 (-110)

Under 141.5 (-110)

Notre Dame Fighting Irish vs. Illinois Fighting Illini Predictions

The Fighting Irish have struggled so far this season, winning just three of the first five games while covering just once in five outings. That lone cover was against Division II Chaminade in the Maui Invitational, and they didn't really play great in that one.

The Irish led the Silverswords just 41-38 at halftime before pulling away in the second half. The last time the Irish took the court was Nov. 24, and they were topped by Texas A&M, 73-67. The Irish haven't really pieced together a great game from start to finish in five outings.

The Illini are still trying to find its rhythm during the early going, too. Illinois lost a heartbreaker at Marquette on Nov. 15, 67-66, in the final game of a suspension to star big man Kofi Cockburn. His presence didn't really help in his season debut against Cincinnati on Nov. 22, as the Illini fell 71-51.

However, they are starting to wake up offensively, going for a 72-64 win over Kansas State, and a 94-85 victory over UTRGV, posting a season high in points in the process. Still, the Illini are just not clicking on all cylinders quite yet.

The biggest thing to watch in this one is the injury report. G Andre Curbelo is a question mark due to an undisclosed reason, while G Jacob Grandison is a question mark due to illness. G Trent Frazier is also dealing with a leg ailment, so he is also consider questionable.

Notre Dame Fighting Irish vs. Illinois Fighting Illini Betting Odds

  • Notre Dame +220
  • Illinois -275
  • Notre Dame +6.5 (-110)
  • Illinois -6.5 (-110)
  • Over 141.5 (-115)
  • Under 141.5 (-105)
  • More Odds | Futures Odds

    Notre Dame Fighting Irish vs. Illinois Fighting Illini Betting Resources

    • Matchup: ACC vs. Big 10
    • Date: Monday, November 29, 2021
    • Venue: State Farm Center
    • Location: Champaign, Illinois
    • TV-Time: ESPN2 - 9:00 p.m. ET

    Notre Dame Fighting Irish Betting Analysis

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

    • SU: 3-2
    • ATS: 1-4
    • O/U: 2-3

    The Fighting Irish have covered just once in five games to date, and they're 0-4 ATS this season against Division I teams, while going a rather ordinary 2-2 SU in such games. The UNDER is 3-1 in four outings against Division I teams, too.

    Notre Dame hasn't had a very good record bouncing back after non-covers, either, going 2-6 ATS in the past eight after failing to hit the number the previous time out. They're also a dismal 1-6 ATS in the past seven games against teams with winning overall record. And, for what it's worth, the Irish have had a case of the Mondays. Notre Dame is just 1-9 ATS its past 10 appearances on a Monday.

    The OVER has cashed in seven of the past 10 games overall dating back to last season, while hitting in five of the past seven games on the road.

    Illinois Fighting Illini Betting Analysis

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

    • SU: 4-2
    • ATS: 1-5
    • O/U: 3-3

    For Illinois, it has failed to cover in each of the past four outings, while going 0-4 ATS in the past four games against teams with a winning overall record.

    The Illini scored a season-high 94 points against the Vaqueros of Texas-Rio Grande Valley last time out, but they also allowed a season-high 85 points. The OVER has cashed in consecutive games for the first time this season after the UNDER opened 3-1 in the first four for the Illinois. Of course, there is concern with how Illinois will produce in this one with Curbelo, Frazier and Grandison each considered question marks. F Benjamin Bosmans-Verdonk will also be sidelined due to an undisclosed ailment on Monday.

    The last time these two schools met on the hardwood was Nov. 27, 2018 in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge, with the Irish pulling off a 76-74 victory while the Illini grabbed a cover. The OVER has cashed in each of the past two meetings between these teams since Dec. 2015.

    Inside the Stats - Notre Dame Fighting Irish

    • Record: 3-2
    • VI Ranking: N/A
    • PS/G: 70.8
    • PA/G: 62.4
    • ORtg: 35.0
    • DRtg: 28.4

    Inside the Stats - Illinois Fighting Illini

    • Record: 4-2
    • VI Ranking: 50
    • PS/G: 74.3
    • PA/G: 64.5
    • ORtg: 40.7
    • DRtg: 27.3

    Key Players to Watch

    • ND: Paul Atkinson Jr. - F (14.2 PPG, 6.6 RPG, 1.2 APG, 1.2 BPG, 1.2 SPG)
    • ND: Dane Goodwin - G (15.0 PPG, 5.8 APG, 46.2 3P%)
    • ILL: Kofi Cockburn - C (26.3 PPG, 10.0 RPG, 1.0 BPG)
    • ILL: Alfonso Plummer - G (12.7 PPG, 2.0 RPG, 47.4 3P%)

    Notre Dame Fighting Irish vs. Illinois Fighting Illini Betting Conclusion

    Notre Dame hasn't played a full 40 minutes yet, while Illinois has had mixed results to date. They just haven't been able to have their entire cadre of star players on the court at the same time either due to suspension, injury, illness, etc. The Illini are a huge question mark in this one, as they could have a short bench. That's fine against the likes of UTRGV, Ark State or Jackson State, but it's not good news against a foe from an upper-tier league.

    I think that health is very important, and the Irish will have all hands on deck, while the Illini could be struggling with depth if Curbelo, Frazier or Grandison each cannot play. Should the starters get into foul trouble, and some or all of those three players are unavailable, we might see some untested players pressed into larger roles. That might be good news for the Irish. I don't know if Notre Dame has the horses to win outright, but three buckets seems like an awful lot for a banged-up favorite to be laying.

    Notre Dame Fighting Irish vs. Illinois Fighting Illini Betting Trends

    • Notre Dame is 1-4 ATS in the past five road games.
    • Notre Dame is 1-6 ATS in the past seven against winning teams.
    • Illinois is 0-4 ATS in the past four games overall.
    • Illinois is 0-4 ATS in the past four games against winning teams.
    • The OVER is 5-2 in the past seven road games for Notre Dame.

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