Purdue vs Illinois Picks and Predictions: Fighting Illini Hold Boilermakers to a Simmer

Top-ranked Purdue heads into hostile territory against Illinois for an early start between Big Ten foes. The Fighting Illini are favored at home and we think the oddsmakers got it right. Fade the Boilermakers and back the Illini in our betting picks.

Last Updated: Jan 17, 2022 8:22 AM ET Read Time: 4 min
Kofi Cockburn Illinois Fighting Illini College Basketball
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

We've got a packed slate of college basketball betting on Martin Luther King Jr. Day beginning with a noon showdown between the Purdue Boilermakers and Illinois Fighting Illini.

Oddsmakers are expecting a close contest with the Illini installed as slim 1.5-point home favorites for this Big Ten battle. Here are our best free college basketball betting picks and predictions for Purdue vs. Illinois on Monday, January 17.

Purdue vs Illinois odds

Odds via the Covers Line, an average comprised of odds from multiple sportsbooks.

Illinois opened as a 1.5-point home favorite with the Over/Under at 152.5. Early money has come in on the Under, shifting the total to 150. 

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.

Purdue vs Illinois predictions

Predictions made on 1/16/2022 at 11:45 p.m. ET.
Click on each prediction to jump to the full analysis.

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Purdue vs Illinois game info

Location: State Farm Center, Champaign, IL
Date: Monday, January 17, 2022
Tip-off: 12:00 p.m. ET

Purdue at Illinois betting preview

Key Injuries

Purdue: None.
Illinois: Andre Curbelo G (Out), Austin Hutcherson G (Out).

Find our latest NCAA basketball injury reports.

Betting trend to know

The Over is 9-2-1 in the Fighting Illini's last 12 games overall. Find more NCAA betting trends for Purdue vs. Illinois.

Purdue vs Illinois 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.

Purdue is No. 7 in the AP Top 25 and is coming off back-to-back wins over Nebraska and Penn State. The Boilermakers are 7-2 SU in their last nine games but are just 2-7 against the spread.

Led by guard Jaden Ivey (16.3 points per game) and forward Trevion Williams (13.3 points and 8.6 rebounds per game), the Boilermakers rank second in the nation in adjusted offensive efficiency according to KenPom. However, they have shown cracks on the other end of the floor, ranking 72nd in adjusted defensive efficiency and surrendering 90 points to Nicholls State while allowing Rutgers to shoot 52% from the floor last month. 

Illinois is fresh off a 68-53 win over Michigan and has reeled off six straight victories while going 5-1 ATS over that span. 

Illinois has excelled on both ends of the floor, ranking ninth in adjusted offensive efficiency and 21st in adjusted defensive efficiency. They've also been dominant at home, going 8-1 with an average scoring margin of plus-22 points per game. 

With the Illini boasting the defensive edge and home-court advantage, take them on the spread.

Prediction: Illinois -1.5 (-110)

Neither school plays at a fast pace but they are both among the best 3-point shooting teams in the country and can also score in the paint.

Purdue is fourth in the country with 85.6 ppg while ranking third with a field goal percentage of 50.6%. They also have an incredibly deep rotation with nine players averaging more than 17 minutes per game, so they can put the ball in the hoop even when Ivey and Williams are on the bench. 

Illinois is 16th in the nation with 79.7 ppg and its inside/outside combination of Kofi Cockburn (21.9 ppg, 12.3 rpg) and guard Alfonso Plummer (15.9 ppg on 46/40/98 shooting) is extremely tough to stop. 

The Over is 9-2-1 in Illinois' last 12 games and has cashed in four straight for Purdue. Go against the line movement and bank on the Over hitting again today. 

Prediction: Over 150 (-110)

Illinois has been like the better team since conference play began while the Boilermakers have looked a bit inconsistent since jumping up to No. 1 in the AP Poll at the start of December.

Purdue might be the higher-ranked program but the only reason the Illini aren't further up the board is because of two losses to unranked opponents in November. They lost by a single point to Marquette when they were missing the dominant Cockburn and had a neutral-site defeat against Cincinnati when,  outside of Cockburn, they shot just 19.6% from the field — an absurd outlier for a team that has shot 47% on the season.

Home-court advantage matters so much in college basketball, especially offensively where normally efficient attacks can struggle to hit shots in an unfamiliar gym. With the Illini playing at home, they should be their typical efficient selves while Purdue could find it tougher to get into a rhythm in front of a hostile crowd at State Farm Center.

With the home team going 6-1-1 ATS in the last eight meetings between these Big Ten foes we're backing the Illini today. 

Pick: Illinois -1.5 (-110)

College basketball parlays

Did you know that if you parlayed our Purdue vs. Illinois 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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