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How the public is betting Iowa vs. Illinois

A top-25 Big Ten matchup is always tough to handicap, so how right is the public on this one?

NCAA Basketball: Indiana at Iowa Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

There’s a top-25 Big Ten matchup slated for Friday night in Champaign as the No. 7 Iowa Hawkeyes head over to Lincoln’s home state to take on the Illinois Fighting Illini.

So where are sports bettors going as we get closer to game time? Let’s take a look. All odds and info were provided by DraftKings Sportsbook.

Point Spread

The spread is currently sitting at two points in favor of Illinois, even with 65% of the handle and 53% of the bets going toward Iowa.

Is the public right?

People have been betting this line down, I presume because of Iowa being much higher ranked than Illinois. Still, KenPom actually gives Illinois a better chance to win this game than Iowa. The real battle to watch is Illinois’ Kofi Cockburn vs Iowa’s Luka Garza on the boards.


The point total is sitting pretty high, currently at 161.5. The public likes the over, with 65% of the handle and 53% of bets smashing the over.

Is the public right?

I would say the over is your safest bet here. Iowa averages over 90 points per game while Illinois isn’t too far behind them at 83. Both teams have solid defenses too, but 80 each should be easy work for them.


Illinois is currently favored on the moneyline, sitting at -132, while the Hawkeyes are at +112. The public are throwing 95% of the handle and 74% of the bets behind the Hawkeyes though.

Is the public right?

I think Illinois is going to end up winning this in a close one, but I’m unsure why such an overwhelming number of people are throwing money at Iowa, I would have imagined it would be a much more even split.

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