Illinois vs Purdue Picks and Predictions: Can Fighting Illini Keep Pace in Big Ten Battle?

Out for revenge for a 96-88 double-OT loss to Purdue three weeks ago, the Illinois Fighting Illini now head on the road in a battle of the Big Ten's two best teams. Read our college basketball betting preview to find out who has the ATS edge tonight.

Last Updated: Feb 8, 2022 1:39 PM ET Read Time: 4 min
Kofi Cockburn Illinois Fighting Illini college basketball
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

In what very well may be a preview of the Big Ten Championship game, No. 13 Illinois (17-5, 10-2) travels to Mackey Arena to take on No. 3 Purdue (20-3, 9-3).

These two teams played back on January 17, when Purdue edged out an 8-point road victory in double overtime behind 22 points and five threes from Sasha Stefanovic. The Boilermakers will look to go two-for-two tonight.

Can Kofi Cockburn & Co. play spoiler on the road or will Purdue prove to be the best in the Big Ten? Read our college basketball betting picks and predictions for Illinois vs. Purdue to find out. 

Illinois vs Purdue odds

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

Purdue hit the board as a 6.5-point home favorite and is now at -6 in most spots. The total opened at 149 but has taken a dive down to 146 as of Tuesday morning.

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 Purdue predictions

Predictions made on 2/8/2022 at 1:00 p.m. ET.
Click on each prediction to jump to the full analysis.

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Illinois vs Purdue game info

Location: Mackey Arena, West Lafayette, IN
Date: Tuesday, February 8, 2022
Tip-off: 9:00 p.m. ET
TV: ESPN

Illinois at Purdue betting preview

Injuries

Illinois: No injuries to report.
Purdue: No injuries to report.

Find our latest NCAA basketball injury reports.

Betting trend to know

Illinois is 5-0 ATS in its last five games as a road underdog. Find more NCAA betting trends for Illinois vs. Purdue.

Illinois vs Purdue picks and predictions

Our predictions are compiled from the analysis of the spread and total and are indications of where we are leaning for this game.
Our best bet is the play that we like the most for this game, which we would actually put some of our bankroll behind.

Spread analysis

There's a lot to love about this matchup as these might just be the two best teams in the Big Ten. 

We know all about Purdue's high-powered offense. They rank No. 1 in adjusted offensive efficiency per KenPom. They're second in the country in effective field-goal percentage, third in 3-point percentage, and are torching teams for 84.5 points per game. 

But Illinois, which ranks 21st in adjusted defensive efficiency, proved they can at least minimize the damages when they held the Boilermakers to just 69 regulation points in the January 17 matchup.

And while Purdue's offense is well-documented, Illinois' isn't one to scoff at either. They rank 18th offensively per KenPom and average 9.4 made threes per game (21st), an area that Purdue's mostly-pedestrian defense (107th) really struggles with.

Illinois made 12 threes in the first matchup and will need to come close to that total again tonight.

But when I went back to that Jan. 17 matchup, one thing stuck out like a sore thumb — the lack of Kofi Cockburn.

He dealt with foul trouble for much of the game and eventually fouled out, logging only 22 minutes. On the season, he's averaging 21.8 points and 11.4 rebounds on over 60% shooting and is only two games removed from a 37-point outburst against a tough Wisconsin defense (16-19 shooting).

He might be the hardest guy in the Big Ten to contain, and if he's let loose, can take over any game in an instance. I expect him to bounce back and play a much bigger role in tonight's outcome.

If Cockburn plays better, and the Fighting Illini knock down shots as they did in the first matchup, they should be able to keep pace with Purdue and keep things right down the stretch. Take Illinois with the points on the road.

Prediction: Illinois +6 (-110)

Over/Under analysis

Don't let the 96-88 scoreline of the January 17 matchup fool you. The game was 69-69 after regulation and would have played a handful of points Under the game's closing total of 147.

Tonight, the total opened at 149.5 but has come all the way down to the 146/147 range, similar to the first matchup, and barring a couple more overtimes, I'm leaning on it staying Under.

Betting the Under in any Purdue game comes with its fair share of risk, but Illinois' defense has shown they can stop the Boilermakers from running wild and both teams rank outside the Top 200 in adjusted tempo.

Illinois has played Under in three of its last four games with totals much lower than this one. It's only a lean, but I'm backing it once again tonight.

Prediction: Under 147 (-110)

Best bet

Yes, Purdue will be back home for this game and might have the best offense in the country, but the Fighting Illini are playing maybe the best basketball of their season, will have the best player on the floor, and has a huge edge defensively. 

Illinois will be out for revenge tonight. I'm taking them with the points.

Pick: Illinois +6 (-110)

College basketball parlays

Did you know that if you parlayed our Illinois vs. Purdue picks, you could win $26.45 on a $10 bet?

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

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