Iowa vs Illinois Odds, Picks and Predictions for Big Ten Tournament March 13

Updated: March 13, 2021

Star big men Kofi Cockburn and Luka Garza will clash Saturday, with the winner earning a spot in the final of a highly-competitive Big Ten Tournament.

Photo By – USA TODAY Sports

The two best centers in the country will square off on Saturday as the Iowa Hawkeyes face the Illinois Fighting Illini in the semifinals of the Big Ten Conference Tournament.

The Hawkeyes are led by Naismith Award favorite Luka Garza while Illinois will try to slow him down with its own star big man Kofi Cockburn.

College basketball betting lines opened with Illinois as a 2.5-point favorite for this showdown at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis 

Here are our best free Iowa vs. Illinois free picks and predictions for Saturday, March 13, with tipoff at 3:30 p.m. ET.

Iowa vs Illinois odds

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The line opened at Illinois -2.5, with the total at 158.5. Check back later for a full report from Patrick!

Check out the full line movement for this game

Iowa Hawkeyes vs Illinois Fighting Illini betting preview


Iowa: Jack Nunge F (Out).
Illinois: None.

Find our latest NCAA basketball injury reports.

Betting trend to know

The Fighting Illini are 8-1 ATS in their last nine games versus teams with a winning straight-up record. Find more NCAA betting trends for Iowa vs. Illinois.

Against the spread (ATS) pick

Iowa is coming off a 62-57 nail-biter against Wisconsin on Friday night and is now 8-1 SU and 6-3 ATS in its last nine games. The Badgers shot just 39 percent last night but that had more to do with their brutal shooting than the Hawkeyes’ defense. 

The Hawkeyes have been terrific on offense with Garza and his 23.8 points per game leading an attack that ranks third in the country with 85 ppg. However, their defense has looked shaky. 

Not only have they been torched by teams like Michigan State, Michigan, Ohio State, Gonzaga, and North Carolina, but they also allowed mediocre offenses like Wisconsin, Northwestern, and Iowa State to score 72+ points during their regular-season contests. Matter of fact, in the only meeting between these teams this year, the Hawkeyes allowed Illinois to shoot 50 percent from the field and put up 80 points. 

Illinois is fresh off a comfortable 90-68 win over Rutgers and is 12-1 SU and 10-3 ATS in its previous 13 contests. Cockburn has been a pillar of strength down low, joining Garza on the All-Big Ten team with 17.3 points and 9.6 rebounds per game. But guard Ayo Dosunmu has been Illinois’ best player, leading the team with 20.9 points and 5.2 assists per game, while ranking second with 6.2 rpg. 

The Fighting Illini are averaging 80.7 ppg on a conference-best 50 percent shooting from the field. However, they’ve also been excellent on the other end of the floor ranking seventh in the country in adjusted defensive efficiency according to KenPom. Look for their strong defense to give them the advantage in this matchup and back them on the spread. 

PREDICTION: Illinois -2.5 (-110)

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Over/Under Pick

With two of the best offenses in the country squaring off, the Over/Under opened at a whopping 158.5. But there’s plenty of reason to think that number might be a tad too high.

As we already mentioned, Illinois is solid on the defensive end of the floor. The Illini hold opponents to 68.5 ppg on just 40.9 percent shooting. And despite their high-octane offense, they haven’t played in a game with a total score above 158 in their last 13 contests. 

Oddsmakers have also been setting Iowa’s totals a tad too high recently with the Hawkeyes 8-2 to the Under in their last 10 games. Back the Under again. 

PREDICTION: Under 158.5 (-110)

Iowa vs Illinois betting card

  • Illinois -2.5 (-110)
  • Under 158.5 (-110)

NCAA parlays

Did you know that if you parlayed today’s NCAA Iowa 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?

You can bet on college basketball odds at every online and casino sportsbook, including NCAA moneylines, spreads, Over/Under totals, and a ton of prop odds. Head over to our best sportsbooks for college basketball betting in your area.

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