Illinois vs Purdue Odds, Picks and Predictions: Boilermakers Steam the Illini Offense

On top of it being Senior Night for Purdue, the No. 5-ranked Boilermakers have advantages all over the court and should be able to handle business against the visiting Fighting Illini. Read more in our NCAAB betting picks below.

Last Updated: Mar 5, 2023 8:37 AM ET Read Time: 4 min
Zach Edey Purdue Boilermakers Big Ten college basketball
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

The final Big Ten Sunday of the regular season features Senior Night for the No. 5-ranked Purdue Boilermakers as they host the Illinois Fighting Illini on Sunday afternoon. 

Illinois is 20-10 overall and 11-8 in Big Ten play. The Illini are currently a No. 8 seed in ESPN’s bracketology before Saturday’s action. Purdue is 25-5 overall and 14-5 in Big Ten play. This will be the season's first matchup between these two conference rivals.

Will Illinois get a massive road win to all but secure their NCAA tournament berth? Read our college basketball betting picks for Illinois vs. Purdue on Sunday below. 

Illinois vs Purdue best odds

Illinois vs Purdue picks and predictions

The Purdue Boilermakers have been the No. 1 team in the nation for much of this season. However, they've lost four of their past seven games, including a home loss to Indiana last weekend.

The Illinois Fighting Illini is coming off a huge home win over fellow bubble team, Michigan, and has won three of their past four. 

Illinois is a measly 3-6 straight up on the road this season and 5-4 against the spread in those nine games. To make matters worse for the Illini, it'll be without its stellar freshman guard Jayden Epps due to a concussion. — Epps averages 10.0 points and 26.0 minutes per game this year. 

Purdue’s strength this season is on the defensive end. They rank 19th in the country allowing only 62.2 points per game. They're also one of the few teams ranked in the Top 25 in both adjusted offensive and defensive efficiency in KenPom’s rankings — listed 12th in offense and 21st in defense. 

Meanwhile, Illinois struggles offensively, averaging only 74.7 points per game, which ranks 110th in the country. The Illini only rank 72nd in adjusted offensive efficiency in KenPom. They rely heavily on 3-pointers as they rank 45th in the country in 3-point attempts, but only 335th in 3-point shooting percentage. 

Purdue is especially strong at keeping teams from hitting threes against them. The Boilermakers only allow their opponents to shoot 31% from downtown, which ranks 40th in the country. They're also the best team in the nation at allowing free-throw attempts and rebounds. Opponents only average 10.3 freebies per game and 27.5 rebounds per contest. 

There are just too many mismatches in Purdue's favor not to love them to win big. It's also likely the final home game for superstar Zach Edey unless he decides to return for one final season. Purdue will shut down the Illini and win this one by double digits.  

My best bet: Purdue -7.5 (-115 at BetMGM)

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Illinois vs Purdue spread analysis

Purdue is 13-2 SU at home this season, but just 6-8-1 ATS in those 15 games. However, the Boilermakers have covered five of their past seven home games. Only four of those 15 games were decided by less than 14 points.  

Illinois depends heavily on 3-point shooting and free throw volume to get its points. However, it shoots a poor 30.9% from downtown and 68.2% from the charity stripe. Very few teams in the country shoot worse percentages from those spots on the floor. 

The Fighting Illini are 5-17 ATS in their last 22 Sunday games and 0-4 ATS in their last four games overall. The Boilermakers are 4-1 ATS in their last five home games against a team with a losing road record and 5-2-1 ATS in their last eight Sunday games. The home team is 7-2-1 ATS in the last 10 meetings.

Purdue will likely shut down the Illini and hold them to under 65 points. On the other end, Purdue will dominate the boards and get plenty of second-chance opportunities on its misses. I love Purdue to finish the regular season with a big win. 

Illinois vs Purdue Over/Under analysis

On top of the Boilermakers' great defense, they also love to slow the game down. They rank 322nd in the country in adjusted tempo in KenPom rankings. They also rank 339th in possessions per game with 66.0 possessions per contest.   

The Under is 4-1 in the Fighting Illini's last five games following an ATS loss and 4-1-1 in their last six games against a team with a winning percentage above .600. The Under is 3-1-1 in the Boilermakers' last five games overall 16-6-1 in their last 23 games following an ATS loss.

With Purdue’s dominating defense mixed with their slow tempo, it's hard to see many points in this one. Combine that with Illinois’ tendency to play lower-scoring games and this one has all the makings for an Under.

This total is a bit high for how good the Purdue defense is, so I would certainly lean toward playing the Under. 

Illinois vs Purdue betting trend to know

The Boilermakers are 5-2-1 ATS in their last eight Sunday games. Find more college basketball betting trends for Illinois vs. Purdue.

Illinois vs Purdue game info

Location: Mackey Arena, West Lafayette, IN
Date: Sunday, March 5, 2023
Tip-off: 12:30 p.m. ET

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