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Illinois vs. Ohio State Expert Pick – February 26, 2023

Illinois vs. Ohio State Expert Pick - February 26, 2023

Illinois vs. Ohio State Expert Pick - February 26, 2023

ILLINOIS VS. OHIO STATE EXPERT PICK - FEBRUARY 26, 2023 - Greeting basketball fans. Welcome back to our column in which we break down a few of the NCAA matchups from this weekend’s slate of games. 

Today, we will take a look at a matchup between two teams that play within the same conference. The Fighting Illini (19-9, 10-7) will go on the road to take on the Ohio State Buckeyes (11-17, 3-14). 

The Odds












Ohio State







When: Sunday, February 26th at 12:00 pm EST

Where: Value City Arena, Columbus, OH


Public Bets: Illinois, 62%

Public Money: Illinois 71%

Odds courtesy of DraftKings, as of February 26th, 2023

Illinois vs. Buckeyes Season Trends: Two Teams Going In Opposite Directions

The Illini come into this contest on the heels of an impressive 66-62 win over the Northwestern Wildcats on Thursday night.

At one point, they were down by as many as 18 points. And they trailed by 16 points with just 11 minutes to play before rallying for the win in front of their home crowd.

Illinois limited the Wildcats to just 34.9 percent from the field. Terrence Shannon Jr. scored a team-high 26 points, including 24 in the second half. He shot 8-for-10 from the field and 4-for-5 from beyond the arc. It was Illinois' second straight win and the team’s sixth win in its previous 10 games. 

The Buckeyes are having a difficult season, to put it nicely, and they enter this matchup following a 75-71 loss to Penn State. In the waning moments of that contest, Ohio State failed to convert on all five of its 3-point attempts. Brice Sensabaugh led all Buckeyes’ scorers with 20 points and Bruce Thornton contributed 19 points in a losing effort. 

The loss to Penn State was Ohio State’s ninth straight defeat. The Buckeyes have dropped all of the February games they’ve played and 14 of their last 15 overall. Based on the numbers, divine intervention may be needed for the Buckeyes to emerge victorious in this matchup. 

The Picks


The opening projected points total for this contest was 146. That line has moved to 145.5 points. 

Both teams average a combined 147 points per contest. However, they are allowing a combined total of 134.7 points per contest, which is well below the projected total.

The predicted total has gone UNDER in Illinois’ last 10 contests. Also, the projected points total has gone UNDER in 14 of the Illini’s previous 20 games against a Big Ten opponent. 

The UNDER has a 5-1 mark in Illinois’ last six Sunday games. Taking these trends into consideration, I’d strongly suggest going with UNDER in this one. 


The Fighting Illini opened as a consensus two-point favorite. At the time of this writing, that line has moved to (-4.5).

Illinois has a 5-1 record against the spread when playing against teams with a winning record at home. As bad as Ohio State has been this season, one of the few positives is they are 8-6 at home. 

The Illini are 6-2 ATS in their previous eight games against teams with a losing record. Ohio State is 11-17. 

Meanwhile, the Buckeyes are just 7-19 ATS in their last 26 games in which the opponent has an overall winning record. The Illini are 19-9 on the season.

Additionally, the Buckeyes are 3-15 ATS in their last 18 games against teams with a winning percentage above .600, and 1-12 ATS in their last 13 games following a straight up loss. 

With those trends in mind, go with the Illini to win and cover the 4.5-point spread as well.

James' Picks

UNDER 145.5 total points

Illinois (-4.5)

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  1. Pingback:Northwestern vs. Maryland Expert Pick - February 26, 2023

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