College Basketball Picks

Illinois vs Penn State Pick – Basketball Predictions & Odds 3/9/23

Penn State Nittany Lions (19-12) vs. Illinois Fighting Illini (20-11)
March 9, 2023 6:30 pm EDT
The Line: Illinois Fighting Illini -2.5 / Penn State Nittany Lions +2.5; Over/Under: +140.5
(Get latest betting odds)

The Penn State Nittany Lions and the Illinois Fighting Illini meet in college basketball action from the United Center as part of the Big Ten conference tournament on Thursday. Let’s dive into the odds, injuries, matchup history and make a prediction for this game.


Illinois is listed as a 2.5-point favorite with the total for this game set at 140.5 points.


For Penn State, Caleb Dorsey is out indefinitely with an undisclosed injury while Jayden Epps is questionable for Illinois with a concussion.

Matchup History

Penn State’s 93-81 win over Illinois back on February 14th, 2023, made it back-to-back wins for the Nittany Lions in this head-to-head matchup.


Penn State is 6-2 ATS in their last 8 Thursday games and 1-4-1 ATS in their last 6 games following a win while the under is 4-1 in their last 5 neutral site games. Illinois is 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games overall and 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games against a team with a winning percentage above .600 while the under is 10-3 in their last 13 games against a team with a winning record.


I’m backing Illinois here. I just don’t see Penn State doing enough to break down this Illinois defense as the Nittany Lions don’t force many turnovers and more often than not they’ve been getting crushed on the glass as well. Illinois doesn’t win many games with style points but I don’t think they have to here. I’ll lay it and play it with Illinois here.

Chris Ruffolo's Free Pick: Illinois -2.5

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Chris Ruffolo

Chris joined the Sports Chat Place team in August 2016 and has a proven system that combines multiple analytical and situational statistics and trends to give out thousands of winning picks over the last three years with winning records across all of the top leagues, Follow Chris Ruffolo on Twitter @ruffthepickdawg

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