The Big Ten has been the deepest and best conference in college basketball throughout the 2020-21 season and on Saturday the four highest-ranked teams in the league will square off for a chance to play for the Big Ten Championship on Sunday. The Illinois Fighting Illini will take on the Iowa Hawkeyes in the second 2021 Big Ten Tournament semifinal Saturday on CBS at 3:30 p.m. ET at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. The next-door neighbors met once earlier this year, with Illinois winning a thriller at home 80-75.
Illinois covered the spread as three-point favorites in that victory, but Iowa had covered in each of the previous six head-to-head matchups. This time around, the Fighting Illini are favored by four with the over-under for total points set at 157.5 in the latest Illinois vs. Iowa odds from William Hill Sportsbook. Before entering any Iowa vs. Illinois picks, you'll want to see the college basketball predictions and betting advice from the model at SportsLine.
The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every Division I college basketball game 10,000 times. Over the past four-plus years, the proprietary computer model has generated an impressive profit of over $2,600 for $100 players on its top-rated college basketball picks against the spread. It has also returned over $400 on all top-rated college basketball picks this season. Anyone who has followed it has seen huge returns.
- Illinois vs. Iowa spread: Illinois -4
- Illinois vs. Iowa over-under: 157.5 points
- Illinois vs. Iowa money line: Illinois -190; Iowa +160
- ILLINOIS: The Fighting Illini are 18-9 against the spread this season
- IOWA: The Hawkeyes led the Big Ten in scoring during league play (80.3 ppg)
What you need to know about Illinois
Illinois is currently the No. 3 team in the AP Top 25 and entered the 2021 Big Ten Tournament as the No. 2 seed in the league. On Friday, the Fighting Illini began their conference tournament with a comfortable 90-68 win over Rutgers. Illinois shot 52.5 percent from the floor and absolutely exhausted the Scarlet Knights on the glass, outrebounding them 41-18.
Kofi Cockburn posted a double-double with 18 points and 12 rebounds while Ayo Dosunmu led Illinois with 21 points on 8-of-11 shooting. Cockburn is averaging 17.3 points and 9.7 rebounds per game this season while Dosunmu is putting up 21.0 points, 6.2 rebounds and 5.3 assists per contest. The pair will be obvious focal points of the Iowa gameplan, but Trent Frazier also put up 24 points during the win over Iowa on Jan. 29.
What you need to know about Iowa
The Hawkeyes are led by National Player of the Year candidate Luka Garza, who is averaging 23.8 points and 8.7 rebounds per game this season while shooting 55.4 percent from the floor and 42.0 percent from the 3-point line. Garza had 24 points, nine rebounds, three assists and four blocked shots in Iowa's win over Wisconsin in the quarterfinals.
Garza had 19 points during the previous matchup with Illinois but it took him 18 shots to get there and he only managed four rebounds. The Hawkeyes will have to win that matchup emphatically to avenge their earlier loss and earn their way into the 2021 Big Ten Championship Game.
How to make Illinois vs. Iowa picks
The model is leaning under on the total, projecting the teams to combine for 157 points. It also says one side of the spread hits 70 percent of the time. You can only see the pick at SportsLine.
So who wins Illinois vs. Iowa? And which side of the spread hits 70 percent of the time? Visit SportsLine right now to see which side of the spread you need to jump on, all from the computer model that has crushed its college basketball picks.