- Indiana is a 1.5-point favorite over Illinois on Saturday in Big Ten game
- Indiana has not played since beating Maryland a week ago
- Read below for analysis and a betting prediction
No. 18 Illinois (16-5, 9-2 Big Ten) is a 1.5-point road underdog against Indiana in a Big Ten game Saturday at noon ET on the Big Ten Network. The Illini are 9-2 straight up and 6-5 ATS since a home loss to No. 7 Arizona on Dec. 11.
Indiana (16-5, 7-4 Big Ten) has won four of five its last five straight up, going 3-2 ATS. The Hoosiers’ most notable victory in that run was a 68-65 home win against No. 4 Purdue on Jan. 20, three days after the Boilermakers’ 96-88 double overtime victory at Illinois.
Illinois vs Indiana Odds
|Illinois Fighting Illini||+105||+1.5.(-110)||Over 135.5 (-110)|
|Indiana Hoosiers||-125||-1.5 (-110)||Under 135.5 (-110)|
Odds from BetMGM on Feb. 4
Indiana is a 1.5-point home favorite against Illinois with the total set at 135.5, tied for the second-lowest for an Illinois game this season. Indiana is -125 on the moneyline, meaning the Hoosiers have a 55.6 % implied win probability. The Illinis are +105 on moneyline, which translates in 48.8% implied win probability.
Hoosiers Heading the Right Direction
Indiana has won four of five to get back into the Big Ten race while going 13-1 at home, and defense has been the big factor. The Hoosiers are holding opponents to 37.3 percent from the field, eighth-lowest in Division I.
The Hoosiers did not over-schedule early in coach Mike Woodson’s first season, their best non-conference coming against Notre Dame. But with January wins over Ohio State and Purdue, they are trending in the right direction with games remaining against all five conference heavyweights.
Trayce Jackson-Davis (18.3 points, 8.5 assists) is the go-to threat. He runs the floor well, and the Hoosiers look to get the ball to him in the low block on virtually every half-court set. He is a finalist for the Wooden and Karl Malone awards.
Forward Race Thompson (11.5 points, 7.7 rebounds) adds another inside presence, and transfer point guard Xavier Johnson (10.5 points. 4.5 assists) has played well recently. He had eight points, nine assists and one turnover in 30 minutes against Maryland. He is averaging 14.8 points and 5.6 assists in the last four. Guard Rob Phinisee (plantar fasciitis) missed the Maryland game, and he is questionable.
Cockburn Burnishes Wooden Award Resumé
Despite a disjointed season, Illinois senior big man Kofi Cockburn has overtaken Wisconsin wing Johnny Davis favorite to become the Big Ten Player of the Year and at +400 is the BetMGM co-favorite with Kentucky center Oscar Tshiebwe to the John Wooden Award as the national player of the year.
After missing the Maryland and Michigan State games concussion symptoms round the Purdue loss, Cockburn enters after dominating games against Northwestern and Wisconsin.
Massive Cockburn, 7’1 and 285 pounds, had 22 points and nine rebounds when the Illini escaped with a 55-56 win at Northwestern on Sunday and had a 37-point, 12-rebound double-double — his 12th double-double of the season — in an 80-67 home victory over No. 11 Wisconsin on Wednesday. He was 16 of 19 from the field.
— Illinois Basketball (@IlliniMBB) January 31, 2022
Cockburn missed the first three games of the season while under NCAA suspension for selling Illinois apparel and memorabilia. He did not appear to be 100 percent against Purdue, when he had 10 points and a season-low five rebounds in a season-low 22 minutes before fouling out.
Illinois vs Indiana Head-to-Head Results
Illinois has won the last three in the season series, going 2-1 ATS. The Illini swept the home-and-home set last season and won the one meeting at home in 2019-20.
Indiana had won seven of the previous eight, going 6-1-1 ATS, including three of the previous four in Urbana-Champaign. The game is 5-2-1 under the total since 2016-17. Illinois is 3-3 straight up in the last six at home, 1-4-1 ATS.
— Big Ten Men's Basketball (@B1GMBBall) January 31, 2022
Mike Woodson’s Hoosiers are a Big Ten-best 13-8 ATS this season, 11-3 ATS at home and 6-5 ATS in Big Ten home games. Illinois is 1-4 ATS as a Big Ten road favorite,
Illini (Maybe) Finally Full Strength
Cockburn and sophomore guard Andre Curbelo (concussion) were on the floor together for only the four time in the Wisconsin game, when the Illini demonstrated how good they can be with all their components in place
Energetic Curbelo, who missed about eight weeks before finally being cleared for the Purdue game, had 20 points against the Boilermakers and is putting up numbers similar to a year ago –9.7 points, 4.0 assists, 3.9 rebounds.
— Illinois Basketball (@IlliniMBB) January 17, 2022
With Utah transfer Alfonso Plummer(15.3 points, league-high 63 threes) and senior Jacob Grandison (10.9 points) stepping up alongside Trent Frazier (12.8 points, 3.8 assists), Curbelo has come off the bench in the last three games and likely will continue to do so.
Illinois vs Indiana Prediction
This is a bit of a trap game for Illinois, which has a road rematch against Purdue on Tuesday. The Hoosiers play defense and play well in Assembly Hall. But … Cockburn has had the best of his matchups against Jackson-Davis (3-0) since both entered the league in 2019-20. Two of the Illini’s losses have come in games Cockburn was out. Take the Illini.
The pick: Illinois +1.5 (-110)