- Two Big Ten heavyweights collide when Illinois visits Maryland on Friday, December 2nd
- The home side Terrapins are slight 2-point favorites in the betting odds
- Read below for the Illinois vs Maryland odds and predictions
Friday night in Maryland should be an exciting one for college basketball fans when number 16, Illinois (6-1, 5-2 ATS) take on the 22nd ranked Maryland Terrapins (7-0, 6-1 ATS) at the Xfinity Center in College Park. Tip off is scheduled for 9:00 pm ET on Friday, December 2nd.
The XFINITY Center is sure to be packed and rocking with Maryland Athletics announcing that the student section is completely sold out for a huge Big Ten encounter. Undefeated, but still lower in the AP rankings, Maryland are slim 2-point favorites in the NCAA college basketball odds for this matchup.
Read on for more odds to consider when betting on this game, plus a full breakdown of the first conference game of the season for each squad. We’ll end things off with our best bet and prediction in the Illinois vs Maryland odds.
Illinois vs Maryland Odds
|Illinois Fighting Illini
|O 145 (-117)
|U 145 (-117)
Odds as of December 1st at Caesars Sportsbook.
Both teams have been running up the score in their last couple respective games and that has the over/under set at a rather large 145 points for a college basketball game. Illinois is averaging 83 points per game this season, while Maryland is right behind them clicking in at 82.1 points per outing.
Illinois Fighting Illini Betting Outlook
This Illinois team plays fast and with a ton of pace offensively. As a team, they’re shooting 48.5% from the field this season and have an effective field goal percentage of 57.1 which ranks 16th in the nation according to KenPom.
Senior guard, Terrence Shannon Jr. has emerged as the go-to-guy on offense for Illinois. He is third in the Big Ten in scoring early this campaign, averaging 19.9 points per game and shooting 43% from beyond the arc. Maryland will likely use Hakim Hart to guard the 6’6 emerging superstar in what should be a key battle to watch.
Illinois' Terrence Shannon Jr. has already made 21 three-point shots this season. He made 33 during all of last year at Texas Tech. Playing like an All-American.
— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) December 1, 2022
Illinois has some impressive wins already on their resume this season and beating Maryland at home would surely add to that. They’ve defeated UCLA and Syracuse, with their only loss of the year coming to 3rd ranked Virginia.
Where the Fighting Illini have struggled on offense is committing turnovers leading to fast break points for the opposition. With 15 turnovers a game, watch out for Maryland to try and exploit that weakness by pressing and forcing Illinois’ backcourt into tough spots.
Maryland Terrapins Betting Analysis
With an undefeated 7-0 record, Maryland might be annoyed by the fact their conference rivals have an edge on them in the rankings at this point. A win by Maryland on Friday night will surely move them beyond Illinois when the next AP rankings come out. Both squads are in that secondary group of teams in the national championship odds.
These teams played each other twice last season with the home side taking both contests.
Illinois vs Maryland Recent Results
|MD 81 – ILL 65
|ILL 76 – MD 64
|ILL 63 – MD 66
|ILL 66 – MD 75
|MD 59 – ILL 58
The Terrapins have a perfect 5-0 home record so far this year and have been destroying inferior opposition. They’re average margin of victory so far is 21.9 points. Their lowest scoring total so far this year is 71 points and their adjusted offensive efficiency of 112.9 ranks 17th in Division I basketball according to KenPom.
Similar to the Illini, Maryland has a key scorer of their own in Donta Scott. Scott leads Maryland in scoring with 15.9 points per game. When Maryland has to have a bucket, they know who they’re going to get the ball to. Guard, Jahmir Young checks in with 13.9 points per night while facilitating the offense and leading the team in assists.
Illinois vs Maryland Prediction
You can’t ask for a more exciting matchup and these teams will be amped for their first conference game of the year. The atmosphere will likely take things to another level. Given the pandemic and the hardship Maryland’s program experienced last year, it’s been a while since it felt like a huge game was held at the XFINTY Center.
"If you can get a win at Maryland, you know you've handled the gauntlet"
This is what a Gold Rush sounds like
Be there Friday pic.twitter.com/dFpR8oZEFP
— Maryland Terrapins (@umterps) December 1, 2022
This game is so tight to call with two teams that actually play a similar style. In Shannon Jr., the Fighting Illini will have the best player on the court, but Maryland are no slouches on D. With an adjusted defensive efficiency of 92.3, they rank 33rd in the nation according to KenPom and should find a way to contain Illinois’ main man.
Our best bet in the college basketball odds, is to count on the home crowd to push the Terps over the edge, so pick Maryland to cover the two points in College Park and continue their early season undefeated run.
Pick: Maryland Terrapins -2 (-117)