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Illinois Fighting Illini at Ohio State Buckeyes Betting Preview

 

The Ohio State Buckeyes host the Illinois Fighting Illini on Saturday afternoon to close out the regular season. Besides this being a huge Big Ten rivalry game, a potential No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament is up for grabs.

Ohio State blew out Illinois in the first meeting of the year, but things have changed drastically since that point. Illinois has now replaced Ohio State on the number one seed line and is looking to stay there.

Handicapping March Madness 2021

Illinois enters this game with a 15-4 record in Big Ten Conference action and currently sits in second place. Ohio State has slipped to 12-7 in league play, which is good enough for fifth place.

This game could be a preview of a Big Ten tournament matchup and potentially a finals matchup. The Fighting Illini want revenge, while Ohio State wants to earn a double-bye in the conference tournament.

Our last article here at Top Rank Sports Picks was an Auburn at Baylor betting preview. Go see how we did.

Defense Gives Illini Massive Win

The Fighting Illini have played their past three games without Ayo Dosunmu, but they have gone a perfect 3-0. Illinois held the Michigan Wolverines to just 53 points on Tuesday night to pick up a massive upset win. We got a great number at Americaís Bookie for that game!

Illinois is holding opponents to just 68.5 points per game this season while scoring over 80 per game. You wonít find many more physical teams than Illinois, and this team also has plenty of depth.

Dosunmu is expected to play on Saturday, and that will provide a huge boost for the Illini. The All-American is averaging 21.0 points and 5.3 assists per game to carry the Illini on offense.

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Buckeyes Must Find Offense

Ohio State is averaging 77.2 points per game this season, but it has struggled of late. The Buckeyes have averaged just 62 points in their last two losses and have shot it poorly.

The Buckeyes have been a solid defensive team, allowing less than 70 points per game. Ohio State can keep this game close with defense, but at some point, it must score.

Forward E.J. Liddell leads the Buckeyes with 15.9 points per game, and he dominated the Illini in the first meeting. Ohio State is capable of shooting the ball well, making over 36 percent of shots from deep this season.

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Illinois Does it Again

Ohio State pounded Illinois in the first meeting, and revenge will be on the minds of the Illini. Illinois is playing terrific basketball at this time, and it will have plenty of momentum.

Ohio State is headed in the wrong direction, and lack of offense has been a major issue for this team. The Buckeyes are limping to the finish, and that is a major problem against Illinois.

This game should be tight throughout, but Ohio State just doesnít have the weapons to keep up. Illinois is going to take control on both ends of the floor and pick up its second straight major upset.

Bet the Illinois Fighting Illini over the Ohio State Buckeyes in this Big Ten Conference clash.





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