Illinois Fighting Illini (4-1) vs Western Illinois Leathernecks (2-3)
2023-11-24 21:00:00 EDT
The Line: Betting Odds: Illinois Fighting Illini -26 -- Over/Under: 140
(Get latest betting odds)
The Western Illinois Leathernecks and the Illinois Fighting Illini meet Friday in college basketball action from State Farm Center. Western Illinois lost to Valparaiso in their most recent outing on Tuesday, dropping the team to 2-3 overall. As for Illinois, they’re sitting at 4-1 on the season and coming off a blowout win versus Southern U. Here’s a Western Illinois vs Illinois Prediction.
Western Illinois Leathernecks
The Leathernecks came out of the gate this year with a couple of tepid losses, falling 78-68 to UTSA and 90-53 to SMU. Western Illinois bounced back with consecutive wins after that though, beating St. Ambrose 94-59 and Southern U 88-80 (OT). In the win over the Jaguars, the Leathernecks hit a nice 55.6 percent from the field but just 64.7 percent from the line.
Western Illinois fell back into the loss column in their last matchup versus Valparaiso. The Leathernecks took a 34-27 lead into the locker room and didn’t get closer in a 73-66 result. Leading the way was Jesiah West’s 19 points and six boards, while Drew Cisse doubled up on 13 points and 14 rebounds.
Illinois Fighting Illini
Over on the Illinois side, they posted a couple of routine wins over Eastern Illinois 80-52 and Oakland 64-53 in their first pair before a 71-64 loss to Marquette in game three. The Illini bounced back in the next outing with an 87-64 win over Valparaiso, shooting 44 percent from the floor with a whopping 63 rebounds (18 offensive).
Illinois was able to keep it going with another victory over Southern U on Sunday. The Illini were up 45-27 by halftime and cruised the rest of the way in an 88-60 result. Tops in scoring was Terrence Shannon’s 24 points. Dain Dainja added 12 points with four boards, and Quincy Guerrier had 10 points with six rebounds.
ANDREW’S FREE ILLINOIS VS WESTERN ILLINOIS PREDICTION
I’ll lean toward Illinois, but I’m probably not touching it. The Illini rolled past an overmatched Southern U team in their most recent win, hitting 57.1 percent from the field with a 55-21 rebounding advantage. The 3-point shooting was pretty ugly though (22.7 percent) and Illinois coughed up 19 turnovers, so it wasn’t an exemplary game. Still, that makes 80 or more points scored in three of five games so far.
As for Western Illinois, they started out slowly versus Valparaiso in their latest loss but ended up doing pretty well on the boards with a 40-27 rebounding advantage. Second-chance points are going to be big for the Leathernecks, as I don’t think they’ve got the firepower to keep a cover pace if Illinois is playing to their capabilities.