Upcoming Match-ups

Illinois vs Maryland Picks and Odds (Jan. 21)

Jack Magruder

by Jack Magruder in College Basketball

Jan 21, 2022 · 2:34 AM PST

Illinois's Andre Curbelo, Luke Goode and Kofi Cockburn on the court
Illinois's Andre Curbelo (5), Luke Goode (10), and Kofi Cockburn prepare to defend during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Purdue Monday, Jan. 17, 2022, in Champaign, Ill. (AP Photo/Michael Allio)
  • Illinois is a 7.5-point favorite over Maryland on Friday
  • Maryland is 1-4 straight up and ATS in its last five
  • Read below for analysis and a betting prediction

No. 17 Illinois (13-4, 6-1 Big Ten) is a 7.5-point road favorite over Maryland in a Big Ten game Friday at 7 pm ET on FS1. The Illini won the first game between the two this season 76-64 at home Jan. 6

Maryland (9-9, 1-6 Big Ten) has lost all five of its Big Ten games since coach Mark Turgeon and the school mutually parted ways following a 62-58 home loss to Virginia Tech on Dec, 1, a game in which the Terrapins heard scattered boos as they left floor.

Illinois vs Maryland Odds

Team Moneyline Spread Total
Illinois Fighting Illini -350 -7.5 (-110) Over 141.5 (-110)
Maryland Terrapins +280 +7.5 (-110) Under 141.5  (-110)

Odds from BetMGM on Jan. 20.

Illinois is a 7.5-point road favorite over Maryland, with the total set at 141.5, which is higher than the last five games the Terrapins have played. The moneyline price of -350 for Illinois means the Illini have a decisive 77.8% implied win probability. At +280 on the moneyline, Maryland has a 26.3% implied win probability.

Illinois currently sports +2650 in the NCAA Tournament odds and +725 odds to make the Final Four.

Illini Finally Whole

All things considered, Illinois has had remarkable success in the first half of the season without its full complement of resources.

All-American center 7′ Kofi Cockburn missed the first three games while under NCAA suspension, and guard Andre Curbelo — the last missing piece — returned in a 96-88 double overtime loss to Purdue the last time out on Monday after missing almost two months with lingering concussion issues.

Illinois’ only losses have come at Marquette (without Cockburn), against Cincinnati (in Cockburn’s return), and at home against No. 3 Arizona and No. 7 Purdue. Only the 71-51 neutral site blowout against Cincinnati in the Hall of Fame Classic in Kansas City was out of character.

Sparkplug Curbelo, a 6’1 sophomore, scored 18 points off the bench against Purdue while playing with the kind of effort and enthusiasm that made him the Big Ten Sixth Man of the Year in 2020-21. Curbelo suffered a concussion in the Illini’s exhibition game against Indiana (Pa.) and played four regular-season games before the symptoms proved too great.

Curbelo will remain the sixth man behind guards Trent Frazier (13.4 points) and Alfonso Plummer (16.4), coach Brad Underwood said, but he could expected to continue with the same 26-minute workload he had against Purdue.

Big Ten Favorites

Do not look now, but despite a home loss to Purdue, the Illini (+220) are FanDuel’s favorite in the Big Ten conference title odds, slightly ahead of Purdue (+270) and Wisconsin (+290). Maryland is +50000, one of five teams at the bottom of the list.

Cockburn, who averages 21.1 points and 11.8 rebounds, is listed at +900 in the Wooden Award odds by DraftKings. Only Wisconsin wing Johnny Davis (+750) has shorter odds. Kansas guard Ochai Agbaji is also +900.

Cockburn had a streak of nine straight double-doubles stopped when foul trouble limited him to 22 minutes against Purdue.

Illinois vs Maryland H2H Results

Maryland leads the series 12-7 and has won seven of 10 games between the two since joining the Big Ten for the 2014-15 season.

Illinois broke a three-game losing streak while covering the 11.5-point number in a 76-64 home victory in the first meeting this season Jan. 6 in Champaign after the Terrapins won the previous two meetings.

Maryland is 7-2 ATS in the previous nine in the series and is 3-0 straight up (2-1 ATS) in College Park in Big Ten play. The last two games have gone under the total.

Maryland Going in Wrong Direction

After winning three of four games following coach Mark Turgeon’s abrupt departure, the Terrapins have lost five of their last six (2-4 ATS) for interim coach Danny Manning against road-heavy schedule that included stops at Illinois, Iowa and Michigan.

Michigan shot 58.3 percent from the field and had a 32-20 rebound edge in an 83-64 victory over the Maryland the last time out, and the Terps shot 33.3 percent and blew a 11-point halftime lead in a 70-59 home loss to Rutgers on Jan. 15. The Terps are shooting 42.7 percent this season.

Holdover guard Eric Ayala (16.3 points, 4.7 rebounds), Rhode Island transfer guard Fatts Russell (12.4 points, 4.0 assists) and holdover forward Donta Scott (12.3 points, 6.7 rebounds) are the double-figure scorers.

Following the Michigan loss, Manning said he was “going to push some buttons and do some things a little bit different.” Russell  came off the bench for the first time against the Wolverines after going 2 of 11 from the floor against Rutgers.

Illinois vs Maryland Prediction

It is now or never for Maryland, which enters as a home underdog for the first time this season. The Terrapins’ sense of urgency is at a season peak, and they may catch Illinois at the right time — after an emotional loss to Purdue and looking ahead to a home game against Michigan State on Tuesday. Maryland has talent, and it has been a good play in the season series.

The pick: Maryland +7.5 (-110)

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