Ohio State Buckeyes (17-7) vs. Illinois Fighting Illini (19-7)
February 24, 2022 9:00 pm EDT
The Line: Illinois Fighting Illini -6 / Ohio State Buckeyes +6; Over/Under: 139.5
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The 22nd ranked Ohio State Buckeyes will travel to State Farm Center to take on the 15th Illinois Fighting Illini this Thursday night in College Basketball action.
The 22nd ranked Ohio State Buckeyes improved to 17-7 on the season after defeating the Indiana Hoosiers, 80-69 (OT), this past Monday. Ohio State was able to force OT after E.J. Liddell hit a game-typing dunk with just :06 seconds left in regulation and the Buckeyes had no trouble pulling away in the OT after a Malaki Branham jumper gave the Buckeyes a 74-69 lead with 1:07 left in regulation. Ohio State shot 48.1% from the field & 31.6% from beyond the arc while holding Indiana to just 34.4% shooting from the field & 31.6% from beyond the arc. Leading the way for the Buckeyes was Malaki Branham who had 27 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists, & 2 blocks.
On the season, Ohio State is averaging 74.2 ppg on 47.9% shooting from the field. The Buckeyes are averaging 8.2 three-pointers per game on 37.4% shooting from beyond the arc. Offensively, Ohio State has been led by E.J. Liddell (19.5 ppg, 7.6 rpg, 2.8 apg, 2.5 bpg), Malaki Branham (11.8 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 1.8 apg), Zed Key (8.8 ppg, 5.63 rpg), Kyle Young (8.1 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 1.4 apg), & Jamari Wheeler (7.0 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 3.3 apg, 1.5 spg).
Defensively, Ohio State is allowing their opponents to average 66.8 ppg on 40.9% shooting from the field. The Buckeyes have a rebound margin of 3.0 and a turnover margin of -0.6.
The 15th ranked Illinois Fighting Illini improved to 19-7 on the season after defeating the Michigan State Spartans, 79-74, this past Saturday. Illinois led by a 34-22 margin at halftime and was able to hold off a late Michigan State comeback attempt after taking a 67-54 lead with 5:28 left in regulation. Illinois shot 45.0% from the field & 29.6% from beyond the arc while allowing Michigan State to shoot 46.8% from the field & 38.1% from beyond the arc. Leading the way for the Fighting Illini was Kofi Cockburn who had 27 points, 9 rebounds, 1 assist, & 1 steal.
On the season, Illinois is averaging 76.0 ppg on 45.5% shooting from the field. The Fighting Illini are averaging 9.2 three-pointers per game on 35.9% shooting from beyond the arc. Offensively, Illinois has been led by Kofi Cockburn (21.7 ppg, 11.2 rpg), Alfonso Plummer (14.7 ppg, 2.4 rpg, 1.1 apg), Trent Frazier (12.4 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 4.0 apg, 1.4 spg), Jacob Grandison (10.5 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 2.4 apg), & Da’Monte Williams (3.9 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 2.9 apg).
Defensively, Illinois is allowing their opponents to an average of 66.7 ppg on 40.6% shooting from the field. The Fighting Illini have a rebound margin of 7.2 and a turnover margin of -1.8.
The Buckeyes are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 Thursday games, however, are 13-11 ATS overall on the season. The Fighting Illini are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 Thursday games & 5-1 ATS in their last 6 home games vs. a team with a losing road record.
Illinois has been solid on both ends of the court this season, ranking 61st in scoring offense & 109th in scoring defense, however, this is still a team has split their last 4 games and has a bad loss 16-point loss at Maryland earlier this season. Ohio State has also been solid on both ends of the court, ranking 103rd in scoring offense & 110th in scoring defense, and as the Buckeyes have been solid on the road recently, with a convincing win at Michigan and competitive losses at Purdue & Rutgers, I think the play here is to take Ohio State and the points. Good Luck!