Wisconsin vs Illinois Picks and Predictions: Badgers Prove Tough Out in Big Ten Battle

In a battle of two teams sitting atop the Big Ten, the Wisconsin Badgers head to State Farm Center as 7-point road dogs to take on the Illinois Fighting Illini. Keep reading our NCAAB betting picks to find out who has the ATS edge in this Big Ten clash.

Feb 2, 2022 • 13:12 ET • 4 min read
Johnny Davis Wisconsin Badgers college basketball
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

Two of the Big Ten's best go head-to-head Wednesday night when the No. 11 Wisconsin Badgers (17-3, 8-2) travel to Champaign, Illinois to take on the No. 18 Illinois Fighting Illini (15-5, 8-2). 

Both teams are entering this contest off back-to-back wins and will look to stay atop the Big Ten with another tonight. 

Can the Badgers hang tight in a tough road environment or will the Fighting Illini cover the number at home? Find out in our college basketball picks and predictions for Wisconsin vs. Illinois, tipping off at 9:00 p.m. ET. 

Wisconsin vs Illinois odds

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

Illinois opened as 6.5-point favorites in this Big Ten contest but has ticked up to -7 at the time of writing. The total hit the board at 140 but has taken a dive to as low as 136.5 in some spots.

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.

Wisconsin vs Illinois predictions

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

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Wisconsin vs Illinois game info

Location: State Farm Center, Champaign, IL
Date: Wednesday, February 2, 2022
Tip-off: 9:00 p.m. ET
TV: Big Ten Network

Wisconsin at Illinois betting preview


Wisconsin: No injuries to report.
Illinois: No injuries to report.

Find our latest NCAA basketball injury reports.

Betting trend to know

Illinois is 0-4 against the spread in their last four overall. Find more NCAA betting trends for Wisconsin vs. Illinois.

Wisconsin 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.

Spread analysis

As loud as State Farm Center might be for this ranked Big Ten showdown, Wisconsin is a team that's thrived on the road this season (5-1 SU, 4-2 ATS) and won't be intimidated.

While the Badgers may not have the defense of past years, they're still very strong, ranking 40th in adjusted defensive efficiency, but the difference this year has come on offense. 

They're playing much faster and are actually averaging 76.4 points per game over their last 10, surpassing 70 points in all but one.

They're led by 6-foot-5 guard Johnny Davis, who's averaging 21.4 points and 7.9 rebounds on 44/36/78 shooting splits this season, but what's made him so valuable for the Badgers is his improved play on the road. His scoring output increases to 23.1 and his shooting splits see a significant jump to 48/43/77.

He consistently hits timely shots, rarely turns the ball over, and is the leader Wisconsin needs to play well in big games like this, especially on the road.

As a team, the Badgers average only 8.5 turnovers per game, which is first in the nation.

And while Illinois is 8-2 in conference play just like Wisconsin, they haven't looked their best over the last two weeks. They're 0-4 ATS in their last four in which they lost at home in double-OT to No. 4 Purdue and got blown out by a poor Maryland team on the road. They bounced back to take down No. 10 Michigan State but then needed a late rally to fend off Northwestern, another team at the bottom of the Big Ten.

For Wisconsin, the key will be making sure Kofi Cockburn doesn't run wild, especially in front of an electric home crowd. Cockburn averages 21/12 on 59% shooting but between 6-foot-9 Tyler Wahl and 7-foot Steven Crowl, the Badgers have the size needed to try and contain him.

I expect the Badgers to show their class inside the Big Ten and stay within the number, maybe even making a run at stealing the game outright.

Prediction: Wisconsin +7 (-110)

Over/Under analysis

The total for tonight's contest opened at 140 but has come all the way down to 136.5. However, I'm actually leaning towards fading that public movement and taking the Over.

As mentioned, this Wisconsin team is much better offensively and has really started to find a rhythm over the last month or so.

With that uptick in scoring, the Badgers are 8-2 Over/Under over their last ten games, including a run of eight straight Overs. It's also 5-1 in their last six as an underdog.

Both teams rank inside the Top 40 in KenPom's adjusted offensive efficiency rankings, will be fully healthy tonight, and combine for an Over/Under record of 25-14-1. Back it again tonight. 

Prediction: Over 136.5 (-110)

Best bet

Wisconsin with the points on the road is the best play tonight. 

This game would be a near pick'em on a neutral site and I just don't see Johnny Davis & Co. struggling in a tough road environment as much as some other teams might.

The Badgers have won 15 of their last 18 meetings with Illinois, and while I wouldn't bank on them to win outright, they have the tools needed to threaten Illinois in this spot.

At the very least, they'll keep things within the number.

Pick: Wisconsin +7 (-110)

College basketball parlays

Did you know that if you parlayed our Wisconsin 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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