The No. 7 seed Illinois Fighting Illini (20-11) and the No. 10 seed Penn State Nittany Lions (19-12) match up in the second round of the 2023 Big Ten Tournament on Thursday evening. Illinois leads the all-time series 32-21 but got swept in the two regular season contests. On Feb. 14, the Nittany Lions topped the Fighting Illini 93-81. The winner advances to play No. 2 Northwestern on Friday.
Tipoff from United Center in Chicago is set for 6:30 p.m. ET. The Fighting Illini are 2.5-point favorites in the latest Penn State vs. Illinois, odds from Caesars Sportsbook, while the over/under for total points scored is 140. Before locking in any Illinois vs. Penn State picks, you need to see the college basketball predictions and betting advice from SportsLine's advanced computer simulation model.
The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every Division I college basketball game 10,000 times. The model enters conference tournament week 76-51 on all-top rated college basketball picks this season, returning nearly $1,200 for $100 players. Anybody who has followed it has seen huge returns.
Now the model has zeroed in on Illinois vs. Penn State and just locked in its picks and CBB predictions. You can head to SportsLine now to see the model's picks. Now, here are several college basketball odds and betting lines for Penn State vs. Illinois:
- Penn State vs. Illinois spread: Fighting Illini -2.5
- Penn State vs. Illinois over/under: 140 points
- Penn State vs. Illinois money line: Fighting Illini -140, Nittany Lions +118
- PSU: Nittany Lions are 6-2 ATS in their last eight Thursday games
- ILL: Fighting Illini are 5-2 ATS in their last seven games following a straight-up loss
- Penn State vs. Illinois picks: See picks at SportsLine
Why Penn State can cover
Senior guard Jalen Pickett is a smart and skilled playmaker who has tremendous patience. Pickett can break down the defense as a facilitator and owns a secure jumper from the perimeter. The New York native is fifth in the conference in scoring (18) and fourth in the nation in assists (7). In the Feb. 14 outing against Illinois, Pickett had 41 points and eight assists.
Senior guard Seth Lundy has great athleticism and a smooth shooting stroke on the outside. Lundy can score off the dribble and finish above the rim with ease. The New Jersey native averages 14 points, 6.1 rebounds and shoots 41% from downtown. On March 1 against Northwestern, Lundy logged 14 points and went 4-of-9 from 3-point land.
Why Illinois can cover
Illinois was one of the best scoring and rebounding teams in the Big Ten this season. They ranked third in the conference in scoring (74.6) and second in boards (38.1). Junior forward Coleman Hawkins is a mobile and feisty force in the frontcourt. Hawkins fights to secure boards and is a willing passer. The California native logs 9.6 points, 6.4 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game.
On Feb. 26 against Ohio State, Hawkins had 14 points and seven boards. Sophomore forward Dain Dainja has nimble feet and owns a nice back-to-basket offensive game. Dainja logs 9.6 points, 5.5 rebounds and shoots 65% from the field. On Feb. 20, the Minnesota native had 12 points and four rebounds against Minnesota.
How to make Illinois vs. Penn State picks
SportsLine's model is leaning Over on the total, projecting 145 combined points. The model also says one side of the spread hits 60% of the time. You can only see the model's picks at SportsLine.
So who wins Penn State vs. Illinois? And which side of the spread hits 60% of the time? Visit SportsLine now to see which side of the spread you need to jump on, all from the model that has crushed its college basketball picks, and find out.