The No. 11 Wisconsin Badgers (17-3, 8-2 Big Ten) visit the No. 18 Illinois Fighting Illini (15-5, 8-2) Wednesday night in Champaign, Ill. The battle for Big Ten supremacy at the State Farm Center is slated to tip off at 9 p.m. ET. Below, we look at the Wisconsin vs. Illinois odds and lines, and make our expert college basketball picks, predictions and bets.
Wisconsin and Illinois went into Tuesday’s action tied for first place in the Big Ten standings. The Badgers have been solid on both sides of the ball and are among the leaders in the nation in turnover avoidance. UW is 9-1 in its last 10 games (4-0 on the road in that stretch); the Badgers have averaged just 8.2 turnovers per game over that span.
The Fighting Illini are coming off two straight wins by a narrow margin. Victories over Michigan State and Northwestern came after losses to Maryland and Purdue Jan. 17 and Jan. 21. Illinois also rates well on both sides of the ball, and the Illini are the second-best rebounding team in the Big Ten (Purdue).
Rankings courtesy of the Ferris Mowers Coaches Poll powered by USA TODAY Sports.
Wisconsin at Illinois odds, spread and lines
Odds provided by Tipico Sportsbook; access USA TODAY Sports Scores and Sports Betting Odds hub for a full list. Lines last updated at 2:15 p.m. ET.
Money line: Wisconsin +230 (bet $100 to win $230) | Illinois -300 (bet $300 to win $100)
Against the spread (ATS): Wisconsin +6.5 (-108) | Illinois -6.5 (-112)
Over/Under (O/U): 136.5 (O: -112 | U: -108)
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Wisconsin at Illinois odds, lines, picks and predictions
Illinois 71, Wisconsin 65
Illinois is the better-shooting team and has logged some impressive defensive performances recently. Consensus All-American C Kofi Cockburn is back in the lineup after missing two games due to injury, and he looked fine Saturday at Northwestern (22 points, nine rebounds).
The Illini have won three straight from Wisconsin, and the ILLINOIS (-300) tag for this game in Champaign is worthy of a partial-unit play.
Against the spread
The game has an under lean, and figuring U of I getting by with a 6.5-point cushion isn’t worth it. Illinois figures to start fast at home, and if you can get a few more points on Wisconsin after tipoff, maybe it’s worth it. Until then – PASS.
These Big Ten foes both play at a moderate pace. But U of I has lengthened its possessions of late, and UW is coming off its slowest-tempo game in nearly two months.
The Under is 6-3-1 across the last nine series meetings, and the UNDER 136.5 (-108) is the value play here.
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