Two of the best college basketball teams in the country will square off tonight in a Big 10 rivalry game between the Illinois Fighting Illini (13) and Purdue Boilermakers (3).
Illinois leads the conference at 10-2, while Purdue is right behind them at 9-3. KenPom projects both teams to finish the season tied for first with 15-5 conference records, which reflects just how evenly matched these two teams are.
As the home team with a superior overall record, the Boilermakers are favored on our CBB gameday odds. Can they take down a tough Fighting Illini team?
Please note that all college basketball odds and lines are current as of 2 p.m. ET on Tuesday, February 8.
Illinois vs Purdue Predictions
Illinois has faced a meat-grinder of a schedule this season, but they have yet to be turned into hamburger. Of all 358 teams in the NCAA, the Fighting Illini have played the 15th-toughest schedule.
Illinois has already beaten Michigan State, Wisconsin, and Indiana. After tonight’s game, they will be favored in all seven of their remaining conference games. If they can upset Purdue here, they are likely to win the regular-season conference title.
CBB Sportsbook Play of the Day
Before reading our 2022 college basketball betting tips, you should know that Caesars Sportsbook is one of the best around. Take advantage of Caesars’ outstanding welcome bonus, which matches your first deposit up to $1,500 when you use our promo code .
Read Chris Wassel’s Caesars Sportsbook review for more insight and get your welcome bonus below, or continue reading this analysis for our best college basketball tipster picks.
Unfortunately for Illinois, Purdue is an unforgiving opponent. They have beaten a Villanova team that is likely to go far in the NCAA tournament, along with Ohio State, Michigan, and Iowa (twice).
While the Boilermakers are the better team and have home-court advantage here, their defense can be exploited. Purdue allows 68.7 points per game, which is just 1.1 points better than the NCAAB median and ranks 147th in the country.
Their defensive mediocrity can’t be attributed to tempo, either. Purdue has one of the slowest defensive possession lengths in the nation, ranking 292nd out of 358.
Illinois has the 18th-best offensive efficiency in the country and average 77.1 points per game. I don’t have the stones to take the Illini spread or moneyline, but I believe they’ll push the point total to the Over.
Illinois vs Purdue Prediction: Purdue 80, Illinois 76
Illinois vs Purdue Best Bets
Best Bet: Illinois Team Total Over 70.5 (-120) at Betway
Wager: 1 Unit
I see multiple scenarios for tonight’s game where Illinois goes over their team total of only 70.5 points: Illinois surprises Purdue and wins; Illinois keeps the game close and scores a lot of points at the end of the game; or Illinois falls behind, but starts pushing the pace in order to catch up.
For the Boilermakers to hold the Fighting Illini to fewer than 71 points, they must play better defense than usual. That’s a tall order against an explosive Illini offense, which is why I like the Over for my CBB bet of the day.
Best Bet: Over 146 Total Points (-110) at Caesars
Wager: 0.5 Units
If Illinois scores 71 points or more, then the Over for the full game total will likely hit as well.
Purdue has the best adjusted offensive efficiency in the country and a bad defense, while Illinois can score. The only thing that can keep this game from going over is that neither team plays an up-tempo style of play.
Despite the slower tempo, I still believe that over 146 points will be scored tonight based on my projected score above.