The Illinois Fighting Illini and Penn State Nittany Lions will hit the floor for second round action of the Big Ten Tournament on Thursday night. The game will tip off at 6:30 p.m. ET from the United Center in Chicago, Illinois and can be seen on BTN.
My college hoops bets went 21-13-2 against the spread over the last couple weeks, and let’s take a look at the odds and lines on DraftKings Sportsbook and make some picks.
Penn State vs. Illinois odds in Big Ten Tournament
Spread: Illinois -2.5
Moneyline: Illinois -140, Penn State +120
Penn State (19-12, 10-10 Big Ten) ended its regular season on a two-game winning streak including a thrilling 65-64 home win over the Maryland Terrapins. Camren Wynter hit the game-winning layup in the final second, and Jalen Pickett scored a team-high 16 points with seven rebounds and seven assists. The Nittany Lions rate 51st in KenPom, including 17th in adjusted offensive efficiency but 121st on the defensive end.
Illinois (20-11, 11-9 Big Ten) lost two of its final three games including Sunday’s 76-71 road loss to the Purdue Boilermakers. Matthew Mayer scored a game high 16 points but knocked down just one 3-pointer on 10 attempts in the loss. Third-leading scorer Jayden Epps missed the last two games with a concussion, and his status for the conference tournament is unclear. The Illini rate 32nd overall in KenPom, including 62nd in adjusted offensive efficiency and 29th defensively.
The Pick: Under 140
This is a much bigger game for Penn State than it is for Illinois. While the Nittany Lions biggest struggles come defensively, we should see their best effort on the defensive end. Penn State should be able to control the pace of this game with an adjusted tempo rated 327th nationally.