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Wisconsin vs Illinois Odds, Picks, Predictions & Props for Big Ten Title Game

Sascha Paruk

by Sascha Paruk in College Basketball

Updated Mar 17, 2024 · 8:43 AM PDT

Wisconsin forward Tyler Wahl battles for the ball against Illinois forward Ty Rodgers
Mar 2, 2024; Madison, WI, USA; Wisconsin forward Tyler Wahl (5) vies for a rebound against Illinois forward Ty Rodgers (20) and guard Justin Harmon (4) during the second half of their game Saturday, March 2, 2024 at the Kohl Center in Madison, Wisconsin. Mandatory Credit: Mark Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports
  • The Wisconsin Badgers take on the #13 Illinois Fighting Illini in the final of the 2024 Big Ten Tournament on Sunday
  • Illinois is a slight favorite over Wisconsin after beating the Badgers in Madison two weeks ago
  • Get the Wisconsin vs Illinois odds, picks, predictions and player props for March 17

As is tradition, the last game before Selection Sunday will be the finale of the Big Ten Tournament. This year, the Wisconsin Badgers (22-12, 11-9 Big Ten, 5-0 neutral, 16-17-1 ATS) will take on the Illinois Fighting Illini (25-8, 14-6 Big Ten, 4-0 neutral, 17-13-3 ATS) at the Target Center in Minneapolis, MN, at 2:30 pm CT/3:30 pm ET.

Playing their fourth game in as many days, the fifth-seeded Badgers are slight underdogs to the Illini, who had a double-bye to the quarterfinals as the number-two seed in the Big Ten Tournament.

Wisconsin vs Illinois Odds

Team Spread Moneyline Total
Wisconsin Badgers +3.5 (-110) +140 Over 148.5 (-105)
Illinois Fighting Illini -3.5 (-110) -168 Under 148.5 (-115)

The Illini are 3.5-point chalk over the Badgers in Sunday’s college basketball odds and -168 betting favorites on the moneyline. Wisconsin is priced at +140 to win straight-up, while the game total is at 148.5 in what will be a contrast of styles. Illinois which plays at the 57th-fastest pace in the country and averages 84.2 PPG (14th), has been one of the best over bets in the nation this year (23-10 over/under). Wisconsin is 307th in tempo and averages 74.7 PPG. But thanks to an offense that jumped from 140th in efficiency last season all the way to 14th this season, the Badgers have also skewed heavily to the over (22-12 O/U).


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Odds as of March 17 at BetMGM. Claim the sign up offer for BetMGM before betting on Wisconsin vs Illinois on Sunday. 

Both teams will be in the March Madness bracket when its released shortly after the game, but the outcome here will obviously impact seeding. Penciled in as a #4 in the last projection, Illinois figures to be a top-three seed if it can add a Big Ten Tournament title to its resume. Wisconsin was on the #7 line and should be a #6 at worst if the Badgers win on Sunday.

Wisconsin Takes Down Top-Seed Purdue

After taking down thirteenth-seed Maryland (87-65) and fourth-seed Northwestern (70-61) on Thursday and Friday, the Badgers were matched up with top-seeded Purdue in last night’s semifinals. A razor-close battle throughout – no team led by more than six points at any time in the game – Wisconsin’s Chucky Hepburn managed to tie the game at 66 with one second on the clock in regulation to force OT where Max Klesmit hit the game-winning bucket with eight seconds to go in a 76-75 OT victory.

YouTube video

Hepburn, who averages just 6.9 PPG, finished with a team-high 22 points while leading scorer AJ Storr (16.7 PPG) added 20 points and six rebounds as the Badgers overcame a 28-point, 11-rebound performance from Zach Edey and a 46-32 disadvantage on the glass.

The well-timed three-game win streak from the Badgers came as a surprise to many after Wisconsin limped to the finish line in Big Ten play, going just 3-8 in its last 11 games. But it was clear that Greg Gard’s team had this upside after starting the season 16-4 (and 8-1 in the Big Ten), including wins over Marquette, Virginia, and Michigan State (twice).

The Badgers currently sit 17th at overall efficiency at KenPom (14th on offense and 39th on defense). Few teams in the country clean up their own glass better. Wisconsin is 13th out of all 362 DI teams in defensive-rebound percentage (76.1%), which will be massively important against an Illinois team that’s 18th in offensive-rebound percentage (36.0).

Illinois Takes Survives Ohio State and Nebraska

Illinois’ Big Ten Tournament was almost over as soon as it began; the Illini trailed Ohio State by ten with just over ten minutes to play in the quarterfinals before clawing its way back for a 77-74 victory. The semifinals against Nebraska played to a similar script. The Cornhuskers took a 51-40 lead into halftime before the Illini stormed back for a 98-87 win on the back of a season-high 40-point performance from Terrence Shannon Jr (22.6 PPG, 4.1 RPG, 2.1 APG), who shot 50% from the field (11-of-22) and 13-of-16 from the free-throw line.

YouTube video

The 97-point performance from the Illini moved the team to fourth overall in offensive efficiency. Shannon is third-highest scoring player in all of DI basketball, trailing only Edey (24.4 PPG) and Denver’s Tommy Bruner (24.0 PPG).

Close for the first 30 minutes, Illinois distanced Wisconsin in the final ten when the teams met in Madison just two weeks ago. Marcus Domask (15.7 PPG, 4.8 RPG) had a game-high 31 points for Illinois in the win, while Tyler Wahl led the Badgers with 20 points and nine rebounds.

WISC vs ILL Player Props

Player Points Rebounds Assists Three-Pointers Made
AJ Storr (WISC) 17.5 (Ov -125 | Un -115) 4.5 (Ov -155| Un +115) OFF 1.5 (Ov -140 | Un -100)
Chucky Hepburn (WISC) 10.5 (Ov -125 | Un -115) 3.5 (Ov +120 | Un -160) 3.5 (Ov -130 | Un -110) 1.5  (Ov +125 | Un -165)
Coleman Hawkins (ILL) 11.5 (Ov -115 | Un -125) 6.5 (Ov -140 | Un -100) 2.5 (Ov -105 | Un -135) 1.5  (Ov +120 | Un -160)
Marcus Domask (ILL) 15.5 (Ov -130 | Un -110) 5.5 (Ov -100 | Un -140) 4.5 (Ov +110 | Un -150) 1.5  (Ov +125 | Un -165)
Max Klesmit (WISC) 9.5 (Ov -125 | Un -115) 2.5 (Ov -165 | Un +125) 2.5 (Ov -115 | Un -125) 1.5 (Ov -145 | Un +105)
Quincy Guerrier (ILL) 8.5 (Ov -105 | Un -135) 5.5 (Ov -100 | Un -140) OFF 0.5 (Ov -215 | Un +160)
Steven Crowl (WISC) 10.5 (Ov -135 | Un -105) 6.5 (Ov -120 | Un -120) OFF 0.5  (Ov -115 | Un -125)
Terrence Shannon Jr (ILL) 21.5 (Ov -125 | Un -115) 3.5 (Ov -130 | Un -110) 2.5 (Ov +145 | Un -190) 2.5  (Ov +120 | Un -160)
Ty Rodgers (ILL) 6.5 (Ov -150 | Un +110) 5.5 (Ov -115 | Un -125) OFF OFF

College basketball player props from DraftKings on March 17, 2024. 

Illinois’ Shannon leads the point totals at 21.5 with Storr the highest Badger at 17.5. All nine players on the board are clustered between 2.5 and 6.5 rebounds.

Wisconsin vs Illinois Prediction

Illinois has been playing with fire throughout the Big Ten Tournament, needing to overcome double-digit deficits on back-to-back nights. Its dismal end to the regular-season notwithstanding, Wisconsin comes into the Big Ten title game playing better, more-consistent basketball. The Badgers don’t have anyone who can score like Shannon, but seven-footer Steven Crowl and 6’9 Tyler Wahl should give Wisconsin an advantage in the post and help the Badgers put the finishing touch on a magical run to the Big Ten championship.

WISC vs ILL picks:

  • Wisconsin moneyline (+140)
  • Hepburn over 10.5 points (-125)


Sascha Paruk’s 2023-24 NCAAM betting record:

  • ATS: 20-22 (-3.84 units)
  • Moneyline: 4-11 (-5.06 units)
  • Over/Under: 0-1 (-1.00 units)
  • Player props: 11-4 (+5.15 units)
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