College Basketball Picks

Illinois vs Rutgers Prediction Basketball Picks 1-21-24

Rutgers Scarlet Knights (10-7) vs. Illinois Fighting Illini (13-4)
January 21, 2024 1:00 pm EDT
The Line: Illinois Fighting Illini -14; Over/Under: 144
(Get latest betting odds)

The Rutgers Scarlet Knights and the Illinois Fighting Illini meet Sunday in college basketball action from State Farm Center. Rutgers is coming off a win over Nebraska that brought the Knights to 10-7 overall. As for Illinois, they’re sitting at 13-4 this year in the Big Ten standings after beating Michigan on Thursday. Let’s get into our Rutgers vs. Illinois prediction. Check back all season long for free college basketball picks at Sports Chat Place.

Rutgers Scarlet Knights

The Knights posted a pretty solid 7-3 record over their first 10 games, falling to Princeton, Illinois and Wake Forest in that time. Rutgers is 3-4 since then with wins over Stonehill, Indiana and Nebraska alongside losses to Mississippi State, Ohio State, Iowa and Michigan State.

On Wednesday versus Nebraska, the Scarlet Knights came out of halftime with a 36-36 tie. It stayed tied after the second, and in overtime Rutgers scored 18 points for an 87-82 win. Tops in points was Aundre Hyatt with 17, while Clifford Omoruyi doubled up on 14 points and 15 rebounds.

Illinois Fighting Illini

Over on the Illinois side, they lost only two of their first 14 games. Those defeats came at the hands of Marquette 71-64 and Tennessee 86-79. Illinois is just 2-2 since then however, falling to Purdue and Maryland with wins over Michigan State and Michigan otherwise.

Back on Thursday in the Michigan game, the Illini held a modest 37-36 edge going into the second half. Illinois surged on a 51-37 second half however, powering out the win 88-73. Coleman Hawkins led the team with his 21 points, 10 rebounds and six steals in the victory.


I’ll take a stab on Rutgers here. You could probably argue this one either way, though. The Knights managed a nice overtime win versus a good Nebraska team in their last outing despite shooting just 38.5 percent from the field. Rutgers owned the boards in that one 56-42 (25-11 offensive), so if they can keep up the rebounding on Sunday the Knights will be in good shape. Rutgers has scored 66 or fewer points in two of the last three though, so they’re going to need to step on the gas offensively.

As for Illinois, they bounced back well after the Maryland loss with a good second half in the Michigan game. The Illini have been at 71 or more points in 13 of the last 14 outings, so they’ll be tough to keep pace with. I think Rutgers can do it if they get off to a good start. The Knights lost 76-58 at home the last time these teams met up back on December 2 though, so it’s no guarantee.

Andrew's Free Pick: Rutgers Scarlet Knights +14

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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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