Ohio State vs. Illinois odds, line: 2020 college basketball picks, March 5 predictions by model on 66-40 run

The No. 23 Illinois Fighting Illini look to move into a tie for first place in the Big Ten Conference standings when they travel to take on the No. 19 Ohio State Buckeyes on Thursday. The Fighting Illini (20-9), who are just one-half game behind the conference leaders, are 6-5 on the road, while the Buckeyes (20-9), who are seventh in the Big Ten at 10-8, are 15-2 at home. Tip-off from Value City Arena in Columbus, Ohio, is set for 7 p.m. ET. Illinois leads the all-time series 106-78. 

The Buckeyes are 5.5-point favorites in the latest Ohio State vs. Illinois odds, while the over-under for total points scored is set at 132. Before making any Illinois vs. Ohio State picks, check out the college basketball predictions from the SportsLine Projection Model.

This model, which simulates every game 10,000 times, has crushed its top-rated college basketball picks against the spread the past three years, returning $2,770 to $100 players. It also entered Week 18 of the 2019-20 season on a 72-48 run on all top-rated college basketball picks. Anybody who followed it has seen some huge returns.

Now, the model has set its sights on Illinois vs. Ohio State. You can visit SportsLine now to see the picks. Here are the college basketball lines and trends for Ohio State vs. Illinois:

  •  Illinois vs. Ohio State spread: Ohio State -5.5
  •  Illinois vs. Ohio State over-under: 132 points
  •  Illinois vs. Ohio State money line: Illinois +203, Ohio State -252
  •  Ill: Is 17th in the nation in total rebounds at 40.1
  • OSU: Is 17th nationally in 3-point field goal percentage at 37.8

Why Ohio State can cover

The Buckeyes have been red hot, winning eight of 10 to clinch their 16th straight winning season and 21st in 22 years. Ohio State is also looking to make its third consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance and 12th in 15 years. This is also its third straight 20-win season and 15th in 16 years. Under third-year coach Chris Holtmann, the Buckeyes are 65-33 (.663).

In the last three games against top-25 opponents – No. 20 Iowa, No. 7 Maryland and No. 19 Michigan – Ohio State has had five players average in double figures. Duane Washington Jr. leads with 16 points, followed by Kaleb Wesson (13), Luther Muhammad (11.7), CJ Walker (12.7) and Andre Wesson (11.7).

Why Illinois can cover

Even so, the Buckeyes aren’t a lock to cover the Illinois vs. Ohio State spread. That’s because the Fighting Illini have won five league road games, tied with Maryland for the second-most in the Big Ten behind Michigan State (6), and the most by an Illini team since winning five in 2010. Illinois is one of 14 teams with at least four Quad 1 road wins, and the lone team in the country with four road wins over teams in the top 35 of the NET.

Offensively, Illinois is led in scoring by sophomore guard Ayo Dosunmu, who is averaging 16.4 points per game. He also leads in assists at 3.1 and is averaging 4.2 rebounds. He has scored in double figures in 13 straight games, including a 27-point performance at Michigan on Jan. 25. He recorded his lone double-double of the year on Jan. 21 at Purdue when he scored 18 points and added 11 assists.

How to make Ohio State vs. Illinois picks

SportsLine’s model is leaning over on the total. In fact, it says Illinois’ Kipper Nichols will score one more point than his season average, while Ohio State’s D.J. Carton will better his average by nearly a point. It has also generated an against-the-spread pick that cashes in nearly 60 percent of simulations. You can only get the pick at SportsLine. 

So who wins Illinois vs. Ohio State? And which side of the spread hits nearly 60 percent of the time? Visit SportsLine now to see which side of the Illinois vs. Ohio State spread to jump on, all from the advanced model that is up more than $2,700 on its college basketball picks the last three years, and find out.

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