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Illinois vs Ohio State Prediction Basketball Picks 3-15-24

Ohio State Buckeyes (18-12) vs. Illinois Fighting Illini (23-8)
March 15, 2024 6:30 pm EDT
The Line: Illinois Fighting Illini -4.5; Over/Under: -
(Get latest betting odds)

The Ohio State Buckeyes and the Illinois Fighting Illini meet Friday in Big Ten Tournament college basketball action from Target Center. Let’s get into our Ohio State vs Illinois prediction. Check back all season long for free college basketball picks at Sports Chat Place.

Ohio State Buckeyes

The Buckeyes managed a nice 12-2 start to the season over their first 14 outings. Ohio State would then hit a rough 3-10 run into late February, however. Since then the Buckeyes are riding a five-game win streak over Michigan State, Nebraska, Michigan, Rutgers and Iowa in succession.

On Thursday in the tournament matchup versus Iowa, the Buckeyes were up 43-38 by halftime. Ohio State kept it up in the second half with a 47-40 run and took the eventual victory 90-78. Leading team scorer Jamison Battle put up 23 points with nine rebounds and two assists.

Illinois Fighting Illini

Over on the Illinois side, they’ve stayed remarkably consistent all year and haven’t yet lost consecutive games. The Illini are 6-2 in their last eight outings, with wins over Michigan, Maryland, Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin among a pair of losses to Penn State and Purdue.

In the Iowa game on Sunday, the Illini were able to finish things off with a road win. Illinois took a 10-point edge into the second half and didn’t let up in an eventual 73-61 win. Tops in scoring was Terrence Shannon on his 25 points, three rebounds and two assists. Quincy Guerrier doubled on 14 points and 13 boards as well.


I’ll likely just stick with the Illini here. In their latest matchup against Iowa on Sunday, Illinois had control pretty much the whole way with 44.4 percent shooting and a 50-33 rebounding edge (10-3 offensive). The foul shooting wasn’t spectacular (12-of-2)0 and Illinois posted 12 turnovers but overall it was a quality road effort. That makes 70 or more points in 15 straight games.

In their last meeting on January 30, Illinois beat Ohio State on the road 87-75. Both teams shot very well in that one (50 percent and up), but the Illini came away with 36 rebounds and 18-of-20 (90 percent) from the line. The Buckeyes could probably give Illinois some trouble here if they get going, but in the end I think the Illini will pull away.

Andrew's Free Pick: Illinois Fighting Illini -4.5

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Andrew has been writing about college, professional and fantasy sports betting since 2013. Andrew's goal is to break down the complicated numbers and trends into a language that's easily accessible to novice sports bettors and seasoned professionals alike.

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