Arkansas vs Illinois Prediction: Picks, Live Odds & Moneyline – Thursday, March 16, 2023

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The No. 8 Arkansas Razorbacks (20-13) take on the No. 9 Illinois Fighting Illini (20-12) in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament on Thursday, tipping off at 4:30 PM.

Thursday’s matchup between the Razorbacks and the Fighting Illini features a tight line of Arkansas -2. The matchup’s over/under is 144.

Arkansas vs. Illinois Odds

Point Spread for Arkansas vs. Illinois

The spread for this matchup is set at 2 points, with bookmakers listing Arkansas as the favorite.

Arkansas vs. Illinois Moneyline

As for the moneyline, Arkansas has -134 odds to pick up the win, while Illinois is listed at +113 to claim victory.


Finally, the over/under for the game is set at 144 points.

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Game Time and How to Watch

  • Game Day: Thursday, March 16, 2023
  • Game Time: 4:30 PM ET
  • TV Channel: TBS
  • Location: Des Moines, Iowa
  • Arena: Wells Fargo Arena

Arkansas vs. Illinois Betting Trends

In Arkansas’ 33 games this season, it has 15 wins against the spread. The Razorbacks have been favorites in 24 games this season and have come away with the win 18 times (75%) in those contests. Arkansas’ games this year have hit the over on 14 of 32 set point totals.

Illinois has 18 wins against the spread in 32 games this season. The Fighting Illini have been the moneyline underdog six total times this season. They’ve finished 2-4 in those games. Illinois’ games this year have hit the over on 15 of 32 set point totals (46.9%).

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Arkansas vs. Illinois Key Players to Watch


Anthony Black is tops on the Razorbacks at 4.2 assists per contest, while also posting 5.1 rebounds and 12.8 points. Ricky Council IV paces the Razorbacks with 15.9 points per game and 2.3 assists, while also putting up 3.4 rebounds. Davonte Davis posts 10.5 points, 4.2 rebounds and 2.7 assists per contest, shooting 41.4% from the floor and 34.4% from beyond the arc with 1.3 made 3-pointers per game.
Makhi Mitchell leads the Razorbacks at 5.5 rebounds per contest, while also averaging 1.2 assists and 7.1 points.


Terrence Shannon Jr. is the Fighting Illini’s top scorer (17.1 points per game), and he puts up 2.9 assists and 4.7 rebounds. Coleman Hawkins leads the Fighting Illini in rebounding (6.3 per game) and assists (3), and averages 9.9 points. He also delivers 1 steal and 1.2 blocked shots. Matthew Mayer is posting 12.8 points, 5.5 rebounds and 1.2 assists per contest, making 41.4% of his shots from the floor and 33.8% from beyond the arc, with 2.1 treys per contest. The Fighting Illini get 9.7 points, 5.5 rebounds and 0.5 assists per game from Dain Dainja.

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What you need to know about the Arkansas Razorbacks

With 74.4 points per game on offense, the Razorbacks rank 118th in the country. Defensively, they allow 67.4 points per contest, which ranks 97th in college basketball. With 32.4 boards per game, Arkansas ranks 138th in college basketball. It allows 29.3 rebounds per contest, which ranks 72nd in college basketball.

Arkansas has struggled to drain three-pointers, ranking 12th-worst in college basketball with 5.1 treys per game. It ranks 310th with a 31.7% shooting percentage from beyond the arc this season. The Razorbacks rank top-25 this season in three-pointers allowed, currently sixth-best in college basketball with 5.1 threes allowed per game. Meanwhile, they rank 26th with a 30.6% shooting percentage allowed from beyond the arc.

The Razorbacks are 4-5-1 against the spread and 4-6 overall in their past 10 games. Arkansas has hit the over in seven of its last 10 games. Arkansas has seen an uptick in scoring lately, racking up 74.5 points per game in its last 10 contests, 0.1 points more than the 74.4 it has scored this year. Arkansas has been less stingy on defense as of late, allowing 72.4 points per game over its past 10 outings compared to the 67.4 points per game its opponents are averaging over the 2022-23 season.

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What you need to know about the Illinois Fighting Illini

With 74.7 points scored per game and 67 points allowed, the Fighting Illini are 110th in the country offensively and 84th defensively. Illinois is the 23rd-best team in the country in rebounds per game (35.5) and is ranked 121st in rebounds allowed (30.2).

In 2022-23 Illinois is 139th in college basketball in 3-point makes (7.7 per game) and 24th-worst in 3-point percentage (30.9%). The Fighting Illini are 45th in college basketball in 3-pointers conceded (6.1 per game) and 167th in 3-point percentage defensively (33.6%).

The Fighting Illini are 4-6 against the spread and 4-6 overall over their last 10 games. Illinois has gone over the total in six of its last 10 contests. In its past 10 games, Illinois is scoring 73.9 points per contest, 0.8 fewer points than its season average (74.7). The Fighting Illini are ceding 75 points per contest in their last 10 games, compared to their season average of 67 points allowed.

Arkansas vs. Illinois Prediction & Pick

Our prediction to win this contest is Arkansas, and we expect that Illinois will cover the spread (Arkansas -2). Finally, we see the scoring in this one going under the posted total of 144 points.

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How to bet Arkansas vs. Illinois

You can bet on Arkansas vs. Illinois at every legal online sportsbook. For more college basketball odds, including moneylines, spreads, over/under totals, check out the latest NCAA lines as well as our guide to the best college basketball betting sites.

And if you wanted to check out how much you could win on a $10 bet if you parlayed today’s Arkansas vs. Illinois picks, don’t forget to check out our free parlay calculator.

Not sure what a parlay is? Or even how to bet on college basketball? Check out our complete guide to sports betting.


Dan Weiner

Hailing from Atlanta and attending college at the University of Texas, Dan is passionate about sports, particularly college football and soccer. He's a diehard Atlanta pro sports and Texas Longhorns fan. He likes every sport and will watch anything and everything the weirder the better. He joined Betsperts after an 11 year career in television production at ESPN.

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