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Illinois Fighting Illini vs. Ohio State Buckeyes Pick, Odds, Prediction 2/15/14

Ohio State Buckeyes (19-6) at Illinois Fighting Illini (14-11)

College Basketball: Saturday, February 15, 2014 at 8:00 pm (State Farm Center)

The Line: Illinois Fighting Illini +3.5 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds

TV: Big Ten Network

The Illinois Fighting Illini and the Ohio State Buckeyes face off on Saturday in Big Ten college basketball.

The Illinois Fighting Illini’s season looked full of promise but since the stat of Big Ten play their NCAA Tournament hopes have fallen to the wayside. Illinois is 3-9 in the Big Ten, 9-4 at home this season, and in last place in the Big Ten standings. Rayvonte Rice is averaging 16.8 points and 6.0 rebounds to lead the Illini. Tracy Abrams is averaging 11.1 points, Joseph Bertrand is averaging 10.4 points, and Jon Ekey is averaging 7.7 points and 5.4 rebounds. Illinois is averaging 66.9 and they are shooting 41.1 percent and defensively they are allowing 64.3 points and their opponents are shooting 41.7 percent. Illinois did get a win two games back at Penn State but outside of that it has been a free fall.

Illinois Fighting Illini vs. Ohio State Buckeyes Pick, Odds, Prediction 2/15/14

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

The Ohio State Buckeyes have won four of their last six games but they are coming off of a tough loss to archrival Michigan. OSU is 6-6 in the Big Ten, 5-3 on the road this season, and they are in fifth place in the Big 10 standings. LaQuinton Ross is averaging 14.6 points and 5.6 rebounds to lead the Buckeyes. Lenzelle Smith Jr. is averaging 12 points, Aaron Craft is averaging 9.3 points and 2.4 steals, and Amir Williams is averaging 9.1 points and 6.2 rebounds. Ohio State is averaging 71.4 points and they are shooting 45.5 percent while defensively they are allowing 59.3 points and their opponents are shooting 40.1 percent. Ohio State is looking for a strong run heading into March Madness.

Illinois is 2-5-1 against the spread following a game that they didn’t cover the spread, 2-8 against the spread in their last 10 games overall, and 0-4 against the spread in their last four home games. Ohio State is 6-2 against the spread in their last eight road games, 1-4 against the spread following a loss, and 6-2 against the spread in their last eight road games against a team with a winning home record. The home team has covered the point spread in six of the last seven meetings of these two.

This is one of those games where aside from the line looking odd, Illinois just seems to always get up for this one and while the home team has had their way when these two meet, I will take the Buckeyes here. 

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Ohio State Buckeyes -4.5

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