Illinois vs Indiana Big Ten Tournament Picks and Predictions: Illini Weather Hoosiers Momentum

We're backing the fighting Illini to take care of business, but our Illinois vs. Indiana picks are targeting the underdogs to keep the momentum going in the first half as our best bet. Find out why here.

Last Updated: Mar 11, 2022 7:50 AM ET Read Time: 4 min
Kofi Cockburn Illinois Fighting Illini Big Ten Tournament
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

The Indiana Hoosiers clawed their way past Michigan and into a Round 3 matchup with the top-seeded Illinois Fighting Illini in the Big Ten Tournament Friday.

The Hoosiers were down 17 points to UM but benefitted from an 11-minute scoreless stretch from the Wolverines in the second half while shooting 56% from the field (80% from 3-point range) in the final 20 minutes.

Illinois has been parked since March 6, bringing a three-game winning streak into the postseason. The Illini throttled IU in their only meeting this season, winning 74-57 in Assembly Hall on February 5.

Here are our free college basketball picks and predictions for Indiana vs. Illinois on March 11.

Illinois vs Indiana odds

This odds widget represents the best odds available for each betting market from regulated sportsbooks.

Illinois opened as 3.5-point neutral-court chalk shortly after Indiana’s comeback win over Michigan on Thursday afternoon, and that ticked up to as high as -5.5 on Friday morning. The total hit the board at 138 points and instantly dropped to 136.5.

Use the live odds widget above to track any future line movements right up until tip-off and be sure to check out the full college basketball odds before placing your bets.

Illinois vs Indiana predictions

Predictions made on 3/11/2022 at 6:35 a.m. ET.
Click on each prediction to jump to the full analysis.

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Illinois vs Indiana game info

Location: Gainbridge Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, IN 
Date: Friday, March 11, 2022
Tip-off: 11:30 p.m. ET

Illinois vs Indiana betting preview


Illinois: Benjamin Bosmans-Verdonk F (Questionable), Jacob Grandison G (Questionable).
Indiana: Trey Galloway G (Questionable), Khristian Lander G (Questionable).
Find our latest NCAA basketball injury reports.

Betting trend to know

The Under is 21-9-2 in Hoosiers’ last 32 games as underdogs. Find more NCAA betting trends for Illinois vs. Indiana.

Illinois vs Indiana picks and predictions

Our side and total predictions are based upon our analysis of the line and total in this game. Our best bet is our favorite pick across all markets.

Spread analysis

How much of Indiana’s comeback is due to its defense and how much rests on bad decisions by Michigan and coach Juwan Howard? 

The Wolverines refused to adjust when shots started falling short in the second half and compounded those mistakes with 10 of their 11 total turnovers in the final 20 minutes. That led to easy transition buckets for the Hoosiers, who appeared to be outgunned by a potent UM offense… at least in the first half.

Enter Illinois. The Fighting Illini are one of the best two-way teams in the college ranks, ranked Top 40 in both offensive and defensive efficiency. Those metrics were on full display in Illinois’ victory against IU early in the season, as it limited the Hoosiers to 36% shooting and 21 points in the second half, while itself firing at a 48% clip including 10 makes from beyond the arc in a comfortable 17-point road win.

The Illini clamped down on IU standout Trayce Jackson-Davis in that game, holding him to just six points on 3-of-9 shooting and getting the 6-foot-9 sophomore into early foul trouble. Jackson-Davis was one of the catalysts behind the Hoosiers’ comeback win on Thursday, scoring 24 points —19 in the second half — and grabbing eight rebounds.

Illinois is going to make Indiana work on both ends of the floor, touting an offense that thrives on ball movement and inside-out play. The Illini are 44th in assists per field goal made in the country and have four guys scoring more than 10 points per contest. 

That’s a lot to handle for an IU team ripe for a letdown and playing its second straight game with a tight turnaround for this 11:30 a.m. ET tipoff.

Prediction: Illinois -5 (-110)

Over/Under analysis

Indiana’s rally versus Michigan featured plenty of big finishes at the hoop, which added to the energy of IU and fueled that comeback. 

Those close looks will be tougher to come by against Illinois, which ranked No. 2 in defensive 2-point FG percentage in the Big Ten and limited foes to an effective field goal rate of just 46.2% - 27th in the land.

The Fighting Illini are going to close down the lane and push the Hoosiers to the perimeter. Indiana did hit 8 of 15 looks from beyond the arc versus Michigan, but that came against a flat-footed UM defense that was running on fumes. 

Overall, IU isn’t a great outside shooting team, hitting less than 34% of attempts from distance on the season and averaging just over six triples per contest. And if Thursday’s game has any effect, Indiana’s legs could get heavy in the second half and leave those long-range looks short.

Prediction: Under 136.5 (-110)

Best bet

Illinois has been a little slow out of the blocks in recent games, falling behind at the break versus Iowa and Penn State in the past two outings, only to find its form in the final 20 minutes. 

Given the five-day layoff in action, Brad Underwood’s team could be a little stiff – especially in contrast to Indiana, if the Hoosiers bottle that second-half energy from the Michigan win and use it for the opening 20 minutes on Round 3.

Despite that 41-28 hole to the Wolverines at the break on Thursday, Indiana is one of the better first-half teams in the country. The Hoosiers average 35.4 1H points per game and boast an average margin of +6.7 in the opening frame of games this season, before coming back to earth in the second half.

Things could be interesting in those opening minutes.

Pick: Race To 20 points - Indiana +120

College basketball parlays

Did you know that if you parlayed our Illinois vs. Indiana picks, you could win $70.18 on a $10 bet?

Use our college basketball parlay calculator to create your own parlays and see their potential payouts.

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