Teams expected to battle in the consolation round will instead meet for the Continental Tire Main Event championship game on Sunday when the 16th-ranked Virginia Cavaliers face the No. 19 Illinois Fighting Illini. The Cavaliers (3-0), who are coming off a stunning 86-79 win over No. 5 Baylor on Friday, are 106-131 all-time against Big Ten opponents. The Fighting Illini, who knocked off No. 8 UCLA 79-70 on Friday, are 4-0 for the first time since the 2017-18 season.
Tipoff from T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas is set for 3 p.m. ET. This will be the first-ever meeting between the schools. The Fighting Illini are a one-point favorite in the latest Virginia vs. Illinois odds from Caesars Sportsbook, while the over/under for total points scored is set at 133. Before making any Illinois vs. Illinois picks, be sure to see the college basketball predictions and betting advice from SportsLine's proven computer model.
The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every Division I college basketball game 10,000 times. Over the past six years, the proprietary computer model has generated an impressive profit of more than $1,200 for $100 players on its top-rated college basketball picks against the spread.
Now, the model has set its sights on Virginia vs. Illinois and just locked in its picks and CBB predictions. You can visit SportsLine now to see the picks. Here are the college basketball odds and betting lines for Illinois vs. Virginia:
- Virginia vs. Illinois spread: Illinois -1
- Virginia vs. Illinois over/under: 133 points
- Virginia vs. Illinois money line: Virginia -105, Illinois -115
- UVA: The Cavaliers are 6-2 against the spread in their last eight games against a team with a winning percentage above .600
- ILL: The over is 4-1 in the Fighting Illini's last five games following an ATS win
- Virginia vs. Illinois picks: See picks at SportsLine
Why Virginia can cover
The Cavaliers return all five starters from last season's team, which finished sixth in the ACC at 12-8 and 21-14 overall, advancing to the NIT quarterfinals. Senior guard Armaan Franklin leads the team in scoring at 18.3 points per game on 55.6% shooting from the floor, including 52.9% from 3-point range. He is coming off a 26-point, four-rebound effort over Baylor. Last season, Franklin played in 35 games with 34 starts and averaged 11.1 points, 2.8 rebounds and 1.4 assists per game.
Also leading the Cavaliers is redshirt junior forward Kadin Shedrick, who averages 12 points, 5.7 rebounds, 2.3 steals and 1.7 blocks per game. He is connecting on 68.8% of his field goals, and is coming off a 17-point, two-block performance against Baylor.
Why Illinois can cover
Senior guard Terrence Shannon Jr. leads the Illini offense, averaging 24.3 points, 7.5 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game. He is coming off a 29-point, 10-rebound performance in the win over UCLA, his first double-double of the season. He has scored 24 or more points in three games this year, including a 30-point effort in a 103-65 win over Monmouth on Monday. He has been red hot from the field, connecting on 57.4% of his field goals, including 53.8% from 3-point range.
Another force on offense has been sophomore transfer forward Dain Dainja, who averages 16.3 points, eight rebounds and 2.3 blocks per game. Dainja has scored in double figures in all four games, and has registered a pair of double-doubles, including a 20-point and 15-rebound performance against Kansas City on Nov. 11.
How to make Illinois vs. Virginia picks
SportsLine's model is leaning Over on the total, projecting 141 combined points. The model also says one side of the spread hits in well over 60% of simulations. You can see the picks here.
So who wins Virginia vs. Illinois? And which side of the spread hits in well over 60% of simulations? Visit SportsLine now to find out which side of the spread you need to jump on, all from the model that has crushed its college basketball picks, and find out.