The Maryland Terrapins look to continue their recent mastery of the No. 12 Illinois Fighting Illini when they meet in a key Big Ten battle on Sunday. The Terrapins (6-6) have won two straight and six of seven in the series against the Fighting Illini (9-3). Maryland, which is 6-9 on the road since the start of last season, tied with Wisconsin and Michigan State for the Big Ten regular-season title at 14-6 and was 24-7 overall in 2019-20. Illinois, which is 21-3 at home since the start of last year, finished fourth in the conference at 13-7 and was 21-10 overall a season ago.
Tip-off from State Farm Center is slated for 8 p.m. ET. Maryland leads the all-time series 11-6, including a 4-1 edge in games at Champaign. The Fighting Illini are 9.5-point favorites in the latest Maryland vs. Illinois odds from William Hill Sportsbook, while the over-under for total points scored is set at 146.5. Before making any Illinois vs. Maryland picks, check out the college basketball predictions and betting advice from the SportsLine Projection Model.
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 $2,400 for $100 players on its top-rated college basketball picks against the spread. Anyone who has followed it has seen huge returns.
- Maryland vs. Illinois spread: Illinois -9.5
- Maryland vs. Illinois over-under: 146.5 points
- Maryland vs. Illinois money line: Illinois -550, Maryland +400
- MD: Has won the rebounding battle in all six of its wins this season
- ILL: Dating back to last season, the Illini have won nine straight home games
Why Illinois can cover
Making a big impact for the Fighting Illini are a pair of freshman guards led by Andre Curbelo, who averages 9.4 points, 3.4 rebounds, 4.8 assists and 1.2 steals per game. He is shooting 50 percent from the field and is hitting 80 percent of his foul shots. He leads the Big Ten in assists in league play (6.7) and is second on the team in all games. He had a game-high seven assists in the win at Northwestern on Thursday and had eight points and a game-high six assists in a win over Purdue on Jan. 2.
Also leading Illinois is Adam Miller, who averages 9.3 points, two rebounds, 0.8 assists and 0.6 steals per game. He has started all 12 games and is shooting 34.4 percent from 3-point range. He is tied for the team lead with 22 3-pointers. Miller had 14 points, including four 3-pointers, in wins over both Northwestern and Minnesota.
Why Maryland can cover
The Terrapins have played Big Ten opponents close this season and have been within eight points or better in four of the last five league games. Junior guard Eric Ayala leads Maryland, averaging 14 points, three rebounds, 2.5 assists and one steal per game. He has been nearly automatic at the free throw line, hitting 86 percent of his foul shots. Ayala scored a career-high 23 points against La Salle on Dec. 22, connecting on 13-of-15 free throws. He also posted 17 points – all in the second half – in the win at Wisconsin.
Also powering Maryland is sophomore forward Donta Scott, who matched a career-best with 12 rebounds at Indiana on Monday. He scored 19 points against No. 16 Michigan on Dec. 31, connecting on all five 3-point attempts. He also posted a career-high 20 points against No. 19 Rutgers on Dec. 14. For the season, he is averaging 12.9 points, 7.3 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 0.8 steals.
How to make Maryland vs. Illinois picks
The model is leaning over on the total, with the simulations showing the teams will combine for 149 points. It also says one side of the spread hits in well over 50 percent of simulations. You can only see the pick at SportsLine.
So who wins Illinois vs. Maryland? And which side of the spread hits well over 50 percent of the time? Visit SportsLine now to find out which side of the Maryland vs. Illinois spread you need to jump on, all from the model that has crushed its college basketball picks, and find out.