Ohio State vs Illinois Odds, Picks and Predictions for Big Ten Championship March 14

Updated: March 14, 2021

Ayo Dosunmu and Illinois have been terrific on offense but it’s their defense that will hold the key to whether they can cover the spread against Ohio State in the Big Ten Championship game.

Photo By – USA TODAY Sports

The Ohio State Buckeyes will face the Illinois Fighting Illini in the Big Ten Championship game on Sunday afternoon at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. 

The Buckeyes have eked out back-to-back wins by the skin of their teeth and will try to pull off some more magic as they face a Fighting Illini squad that has been steamrolling opponents. 

College basketball betting lines opened with Illinois as a 5.5-point favorite for this contest with the Over/Under at 151.5.

Here are our best free Ohio State vs. Illinois picks and predictions for Sunday, March 14, with tipoff at 3:30 p.m. ET.

Ohio State vs Illinois odds

The line opened at Illinois -5.5, with the total at 151.5. Check back later for a full report from Patrick!

Check out the full line movement for this game

Ohio State Buckeyes vs Illinois Fighting Illini betting preview


Ohio State: Kyle Young F (Out), Jimmy Sotos G (Out).
Illinois: None.

Find our latest NCAA basketball injury reports.

Betting trend to know

The Fighting Illini are 13-3-1 ATS in their last 17 games against teams with a winning straight up record. Find more NCAA betting trends for Ohio State vs. Illinois.

Against the spread (ATS) pick

Ohio State held on for a nail-biting 68-67 win over rival Michigan on Saturday, a day after being pushed into overtime against Purdue in the quarterfinals of the Big Ten Tournament. While both were certainly quality wins for the Buckeyes it is a bit concerning that they allowed large leads to evaporate in the second half of both contests. 

It’s also worth mentioning that the Wolverines were without one of their best players second-team All-Big Ten forward Isaiah Livers. Now the Buckeyes will face their toughest task yet, a fully healthy Illinois squad that has been on cruise control since the middle of January.

The Fighting Illini are coming off an 82-71 win over the No. 5 ranked team in the country in Iowa, which improves their record to 13-1 SU and 11-3 ATS over the last 14 games. The Illini seem to have it all; a spectacular do-everything guard in Ayo Dosummu, a powerful inside presence in center Kofi Cockburn, a playmaking point guard in Andre Curbelo, and a lockdown defender in Trent Frazier. 

They are deep, experienced, and talented and look primed for a deep run in the NCAA Tournament. This is a squad that ranks seventh in the country in adjusted offensive efficiency according to KenPom while ranking fifth in adjusted defensive efficiency. They also dominate the boards leading the country in rebounding rate,  while shooting a sizzling 38.2 percent from beyond the arc.

Betting on Illinois has been easy money for the last two months and although the Buckeyes have a strong team they simply aren’t anywhere near as dominant across the board. With Illinois 6-0 ATS in its last six games against teams with a winning percentage above .600, and Ohio State 2-5 ATS in its previous seven contests overall, lay the points with the faves. 

PREDICTION: Illinois -5.5 (-110)

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Over/Under Pick

Illinois is a fantastic offensive team that shoots 50.1 percent from the floor, but the Illini are also terrific on the defensive end of the floor. They hold opponents to 68.5 points per game on 41.1 percent shooting. And they’ve been even better lately, allowing just 65 ppg in their last four games despite playing against excellent offensive teams like Iowa, Michigan, and even Ohio State just eight days ago. 

Despite their red-hot shooting, the Illini have a tendency to play lower-scoring games against quality opponents going 4-1-1 to the Under in their last six games against teams with a winning percentage above .600.

Although the Buckeyes can put the ball in the bucket, they aren’t too shabby on defense where they limit foes to 42.5 percent shooting from the field.

They also play at a slower pace ranking 245th in the country in adjusted tempo according to KenPom. Expect both teams to come out with defensive intensity for this title game and take the Under. 

PREDICTION: Under 151.5 (-110)

Ohio State vs Illinois betting card

  • Illinois -5.5 (-110)
  • Under 151.5 (-110)

NCAA parlays

Did you know that if you parlayed today’s NCAA Ohio State vs. Illinois picks, you could win $26.45 on a $10 bet?

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

Where can I bet on college basketball?

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