Ohio State vs Illinois Prediction, College Basketball Game Preview

Ron Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Ohio State vs Illinois Prediction, College Basketball Game Preview

College Basketball

Ohio State vs Illinois Prediction, College Basketball Game Preview

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Ohio State vs Illinois prediction, college basketball game preview, how to watch: Thursday, February 24


Ohio State vs Illinois How To Watch

Date: Thursday, February 24
Game Time: 9:00 ET
Venue: State Farm Center, Champaign, IL
How To Watch: FS1
Record: Ohio State (17-7), Illinois (19-7)
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Ohio State vs Illinois Game Preview


Why Ohio State Will Win

The Buckeyes might be having their rough moments over the last several weeks, but the defense has been a rock – allowing fewer than 70 points in five of the last six games – all while shooting relatively well.

This is a painfully inconsistent team from three lately, but Illinois has had an even rougher time from the outside. Even when Ohio State has been off from three – a recent Iowa game excluded – it hasn’t been all that bad. Illinois, on the other hand, isn’t hitting enough threes even though it’s bombing away.

The Illini turn the ball over way too much and make too many mistakes, but …

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Why Illinois Will Win

Ohio State, for all of the good things it does defensively, doesn’t force a ton of turnovers.

There’s not a ton of pressure and there aren’t the rebounds to go along with the defensive stops.

It’s an okay rebounding team, but Illinois is dominant on the boards.

The Illinois are second in the Big Ten and 14th in the nation in rebounding margin, and it should be able to clean things up if Ohio State isn’t great from the field – especially if it’s struggling from the outside.

It’s been a rocky run for the Illini without a whole lot of consistency overall over the last several weeks, but …

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What’s Going To Happen

Illinois is back at home.

Outside of a double overtime loss to Purdue, Illinois has owned Assembly Hall winning 11 of 13 games – No. 2 Arizona was the only other loss.

It’s all about shooting percentage for the Illini. They’re 17-0 when they hit 43% or better and 2-7 when they don’t.

Only nine teams have been able to get to 43% on the Ohio State defense. Illinois – helped by its play on the inside – will be the tenth.

Ohio State vs Illinois Prediction, Lines

Illinois 74, Ohio State 69
Line: Illinois -6, o/u: 139.5
ATS Confidence out of 5: 1.5

Must See Rating: 3

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