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Last Updated Dec 22, 2021, 15:37 PM

Illinois Fighting Illini vs. Iowa Hawkeyes Picks, Predictions, Odds

Dec. 6, 2021
Joe Hendrick
VI Betting Expert
VegasInsider.com

The Illinois Fighting Illini (6-2) will travel to Iowa City to take on the Iowa Hawkeyes (7-1). Tip off is set for 7:00 p.m. ET at Carver-Hawkeye Arena and will air on FS1.

Score Prediction

Iowa 77, Illinois 71

Best Bets

Iowa -3 (-105) at DraftKings

Illinois Fighting Illini vs. Iowa Hawkeyes Predictions

Iowa is coming off a 77-70 loss to the No. 2 ranked Purdue Boilermakers. Although they lost, Iowa was able to cover with a +15.5-point closing line. The Fighting Illini most recently dominated Rutgers, winning 86-51. This was plenty enough for a cover as they entered the game as 7-point favorites.

Bettors should have confidence backing Iowa as they are 6-2 ATS thus far. Illinois is winning games but not finding ways to cover. They are just 3-5 ATS on the season. The offense for both teams has been rolling. With a combined 11-5 O/U record don’t be surprised if the total opens a bit inflated. Both teams will have top 25 matchups following this game as Iowa will take on Iowa State and Illinois will host the Arizona Wildcats.

Both Iowa and Illinois have been scoring the ball efficiently. The Hawkeyes come into this matchup averaging 91 points per game. Illinois is averaging a respectable 76 points per game. Both teams have had relatively easy schedules to date, but I still expect plenty of points to be scored. I like the over in this one all the way up 147.

Illinois Fighting Illini vs. Iowa Hawkeyes Betting Odds

Odds Provided by DraftKings - Subject to Change

  • Illinois +3 (-115)
  • Iowa -3 (-105)
  • Over 152 (-110)
  • Under 152 (-110)

More Odds | Futures Odds

Illinois Fighting Illini vs. Iowa Hawkeyes Betting Resources

  • Matchup: Big 10
  • Date: Monday, December 6, 2021
  • Venue: Carver-Hawkeye Arena
  • Location: Iowa City, Iowa
  • TV-Time: FS1 - 7:00 p.m. ET

Illinois Fighting Illini Betting Analysis

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

  • SU: 6-2
  • ATS: 3-5
  • O/U: 5-3

The Fighting Illini began the season ranked in the top 25. With early season back-to-back losses to Marquette and Cincinnati they no longer find themselves in that position. However, they have managed to win their last four games since the loss to Cincinnati. The winning streak has been powered by 83 points per game on offense and allowing just 68 points on defense.

The offense for Illinois is led by senior center Kofi Cockburn. Shooting 68% from the field with an average of 24 points and 10 rebounds per game he is a key to the Illini success. Also, look for Alfonso Plummer to get involved, averaging 15 points per game while shooting 46% from the field. Both players will need to get going early against an Iowa team that loves to score.

The defense for Illinois has held its own, allowing just 63 points per game to opponents. This is partly due to their strength of schedule up to this point. It should be interesting to see how they handle Iowa's high scoring offense. Illinois ranks 16th in the country in rebounds with an average of 42 per game. Controlling the glass will be an important part of the game plan headed into Monday.

Iowa Hawkeyes Betting Analysis

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

  • SU: 6-1
  • ATS: 5-2
  • O/U: 4-3

Iowa will be in search of its first conference win after Friday night's loss to Purdue. The beginning of the season was a breeze for the Hawkeyes. Three out of the first six games they were able to score over 100 points. This was due to the quality of opponents, but still an impressive thing to do at the college level.

Iowa’s offense is fueled by sophomore forward Keegan Murray. Murray is averaging 24 points, eight rebounds, and two blocks per game. Also keep an eye out for the twin brother of Keegan Murray, sophomore forward Kris Murray. Kris is shooting 59% from three while averaging 11 points per game. He could be the difference maker in this one. Expect Iowa to mix up the tempo of the game with a set offense and running in transition through opportunities created by the defense.

The Hawkeyes defense likes to play man-man and a high 3-2 zone. This has created problems for the opposing offense. Allowing just 68 points per game after eight games played. The defense is a key part of the offense as they love to push the basketball. They are averaging over seven steals per game. Creating turnovers and controlling the pace will be the game plan for the Hawkeyes in this one.

Inside the Stats - Illinois Fighting Illini

  • Record: 6-2
  • VI Ranking: -
  • PS/G: 76.8 (102nd)
  • PA/G: 63.8 (96th)
  • ORtg: 109.4 (79th)
  • DRtg: 90.9 (91st)

Inside the Stats - Iowa Hawkeyes

  • Record: 7-1
  • VI Ranking: -
  • PS/G: 91 (3rd)
  • PA/G: 68 (177th)
  • ORtg: 125.5 (2nd)
  • DRtg: 93.8 (124th)

Key Players to Watch

  • ILL: Kofi Cockburn - C (24 ppg, 10.6 rpg)
  • ILL: Alfonso Plummer - G (15.1 ppg)
  • IOWA: Keegan Murray - F (24.6 ppg, 8.9 rpg)
  • IOWA: Jordan Bohannon - G (10.5 ppg)

Illinois Fighting Illini vs. Iowa Hawkeyes Betting Conclusion

I could see this game going either way. Iowa has been solid but the strength of schedule to-date is a bit concerning. Illinois has also looked good, but may be under-performing as they came into the season a top 25 team. I would have to give Iowa the slight edge only because of home-court advantage. This will only be the second true away game for the Fighting Illini. All other games were played at home or on a neutral court.

The total is what I will be keeping an eye on. Both teams have been scoring the ball. I like the over to cover up to 147 points. Iowa has not scored less than 70 points in a game all season. Meanwhile, Illinois has not scored less than 72 points in its past four games. You can count on plenty of points in this one. Taking the over up to 147.

Illinois Fighting Illini vs. Iowa Hawkeyes Betting Trends

  • Iowa has covered the spread in four of its last six home games.
  • Iowa has covered the spread in four of its last six games when playing as the favorite.
  • Illinois has failed to cover the spread in five of its last eight games.
  • Iowa has gone OVER the point total in six of its last eight games.


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