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Ohio State vs. Illinois - 1/3/15 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Illinois Fighting Illini (10-4) at Ohio State Buckeyes (11-3)

College Basketball: Saturday, January 3, 2015 at 3:30 pm (Value City Arena)

The Line: Ohio State Buckeyes -8.5 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds

TV: ESPN2

The Illinois Fighting Illini and Ohio State Buckeyes play Saturday afternoon at the Value City Arena.

The Illinois Fighting Illini have split their last six games and play their third true road game. On the season, Illinois is averaging 78.1 points on 44.9 percent shooting and is allowing 63.1 points on 38.9 percent shooting. Rayvonte Rice is averaging 17 points and 6.9 rebounds while Malcolm Hill is averaging 13.4 points and 5.8 rebounds. Nnanna Egwu is grabbing 5.4 rebounds and Kendrick Nunn is shooting 44.2 percent from the field. The Illinois Fighting Illini are a high powered offensive team that has seven players averaging at least 5.9 points while they’re shooting 77.7 percent from the free throw line and 37.8 percent from deep. Defensively, Illinois is allowing teams to shoot 31.1 percent from downtown and has allowed 59 or less points in five of its last nine games.

Ohio State vs. Illinois - 1/3/15 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction

USA TODAY Sports

The Ohio State Buckeyes have split their last four games and could use their first Big Ten win. On the season, OSU is averaging 83.9 points on 52 percent shooting and is allowing 59.4 points on 37.9 percent shooting. D'Angelo Russell is averaging 17.4 points and 5.2 assists while Marc Loving is averaging 12.2 points and 3.3 rebounds. Sam Thompson is the third player averaging double-digit points and Shannon Scott is producing 7.6 assists. The Ohio State Buckeyes remain one of the top offensive teams in the country, as they’re shooting 72 percent from the free throw line and 40.5 percent from downtown. Defensively, Ohio State is allowing teams to shoot 30.6 percent from deep and has allowed 55 or less points in five of its last eight games. OSU is 10-1 SU at home this season.

The Fighting Illini are 6-2 ATS in their last 8 vs. Big Ten and 1-6 ATS in their last 7 games overall. The Buckeyes are 0-7 ATS in their last 7 vs. Big Ten and 5-14-1 ATS in their last 20 games overall. The Fighting Illini are 4-10 ATS in the last 14 meetings in Ohio State.

Ohio State is the better team on both sides of the ball here and should win this by double digits with the help from the home crowd. 

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Ohio State Buckeyes -8.5

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