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(2) Iowa State vs. (5) Illinois: Betting Tips, Prediction, and Betting Odds

Iowa State Cyclones men's basketball

(2) Iowa State vs. (5) Illinois: Betting Tips, Prediction, and Betting Odds

Illinois and Iowa State are set to meet in a matchup of very contrasting styles. The Cyclones bring the 4th best scoring defense in the country. On the flip side, Illinois has the 9th best offense in the country.

Iowa State comes into this game riding a five game winning streak. They went 3-0 on their way to claiming the Big 12 Championship and smothered both South Dakota State and Washington State in the first two rounds. The Cyclones dominated the Jackrabbits, but struggled with Wazzu for about 30 minutes. The game was tied with about nine minutes left on Saturday before they went on a 20-12 run to close out the win. The Iowa State defense can be suffocating at times. They have held teams to under 60 points in 16/36 games this season.

The Fighting Illini are on a six game heater coming into this one. But unlike their opponent, they have been riding their hot offense. Terrence Shannon Jr. leads the team with 23 points per game. That is good enough to make him second in scoring in the Big 10. They also have Coleman Hawkins and Marcus Domask who are both averaging double digits per game. Both are capable of going on a tear at any time. Illinois has had a relatively easy run in the tournament so far, but they dominated both games against Morehead State and Duquesne.

Illinois Moneyline

Illinois ML is +105 at the time of publishing. Playable at that number.

With such a short spread, playing the plus odds moneyline is the better play. The Illini are definitely the best offense Iowa State has seen all season. Only two teams in the Big 12, BYU and Baylor, rank in the top 50 in scoring offense. It is worth noting that the Cyclones lost to both of those teams in the regular season. Iowa State’s offense is good, but they mainly generate points off of turnovers. That will be difficult against an Illinois team who is averaging just 10 turnovers per game this season.

If Iowa State struggles to get turnovers, it will be very hard for them to keep up on offense. Shannon and Demask will be the best players on the floor on Saturday. Take the Illini to punch their ticket to the Elite Eight.

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(2) Iowa State vs. (5) Illinois Total Points Over 145.5

Over 145.5 Total Points is available at the time of publishing. Playable at that number.

Illinois’ offense has already been talked up enough, but Iowa State is capable of scoring, as well. They scored 80 points in the first tournament game and scored 70+ in 2/3 Big 12 Tournament games. They scored 69 in the game they didn't score 70. The low 70’s should be good enough to get the over. Illinois' defense isn’t the greatest. They are 224th in the country in scoring defense and 227th at defending the deep ball. The Cyclones aren’t the best three point shooting team but they do have four starters shooting at least 34% from deep. They also might let more three’s fly if they find themselves trailing late in the game. Take the over here.

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