Illinois vs Penn State Prediction: Picks, Live Odds & Moneyline – Thursday, March 9, 2023

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The No. 7 seed Illinois Fighting Illini (20-11, 11-9 Big Ten) will play in the Big Ten Tournament against the No. 10 seed Penn State Nittany Lions (19-12, 10-10 Big Ten). The teams will square off Thursday at 6:30 PM live on Big Ten Network.

The Fighting Illini are currently small 2.5-point favorites over the Nittany Lions. The over/under for the game is set at 140.

Illinois vs. Penn State Odds

Point Spread for Illinois vs. Penn State

The spread for this matchup is set at 2.5 points, with bookmakers listing Illinois as the favorite.

Illinois vs. Penn State Moneyline

As for the moneyline, Illinois has -141 odds to pick up the win, while Penn State is listed at +119 to claim victory.


Finally, the total for the game is set at 140 points.

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Game Time and How to Watch

  • Game Day: Thursday, March 9, 2023
  • Game Time: 6:30 PM ET
  • TV Channel: Big Ten Network
  • Location: Chicago, Illinois
  • Arena: United Center

Illinois vs. Penn State Betting Trends

In Illinois’ 31 games this year, it has 18 wins against the spread. The Fighting Illini have been chosen as favorites in 22 games this year and have walked away with the win 15 times (68.2%) in those games. Illinois’ games this year have gone over the total in 14 out of 31 opportunities (45.2%).

Against the spread, Penn State is 16-14-1 this year. The Nittany Lions have compiled a 4-8 record in games they were listed as the moneyline underdog (winning 33.3% of those games). Penn State’s games this year have gone over the point total 54.8% of the time (17 out of 31 games with a set point total).

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Illinois vs. Penn State Key Players to Watch


Terrence Shannon Jr. leads his team in both points (17.1) and assists (2.9) per contest, and also averages 4.7 rebounds. Defensively, he puts up 1.3 steals and 0.5 blocked shots. Matthew Mayer is averaging 13 points, 1.2 assists and 5.4 rebounds per game. Coleman Hawkins is tops on his team in both rebounds (6.4) and assists (3) per contest, and also averages 9.6 points. Defensively, he puts up 1 steal and 1.2 blocked shots. Dain Dainja averages 9.6 points, 5.5 rebounds and 0.5 assists per game, shooting 64.9% from the field.

Penn State

Jalen Pickett is No. 1 on the Nittany Lions in scoring (18 points per game), rebounding (7.3) and assists (7), shooting 52.8% from the floor and 39.3% from 3-point range with 1.4 triples per contest. He also puts up 1 steal and 0.5 blocked shots. Seth Lundy is posting 14 points, 6.1 rebounds and 0.9 assists per game, making 45.4% of his shots from the field and 40.9% from beyond the arc, with 2.6 treys per contest. Andrew Funk is averaging 12 points, 2.8 rebounds and 1.2 assists per game, making 43.8% of his shots from the floor and 40.6% from 3-point range, with 2.9 triples per game. The Nittany Lions receive 8.7 points, 2.7 rebounds and 2 assists per game from Camren Wynter.

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What you need to know about the Illinois Fighting Illini

Illinois is 11-9-0 ATS in conference play this season. The Fighting Illini rank 113th in the nation with 74.6 points per game this year. At the other end of the court, they rank 76th with 66.6 points allowed per contest. Illinois ranks 22nd-best in college basketball by averaging 35.6 rebounds per game. In terms of rebounds allowed, it ranks 123rd in college basketball (30.2 allowed per contest).

Illinois is making 7.7 threes per game (139th-ranked in college basketball) this year, while sporting a 31% three-point percentage (333rd-ranked). The Fighting Illini are giving up 6 threes per game (35th-ranked in college basketball). They are allowing opposing teams to shoot 33.4% (155th-ranked) from downtown.

The Fighting Illini have gone 5-5 over their past 10 games, with a 5-5 record against the spread during that span. Five of Illinois’ past 10 contests have gone over the total. In its last 10 games, Illinois has been scoring 73.5 points per game, an average that’s slightly lower than the 74.6 it has scored over the course of the 2022-23 season. Illinois has been slightly suspect on the defensive end of the floor recently, giving up 72.7 points per game over its last 10 contests compared to the 66.6 it has surrendered this year.

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What you need to know about the Penn State Nittany Lions

A total of 12 Penn State conference games this season have hit the over. In 2022-23, the Nittany Lions are 167th in the country offensively (72.4 points scored per game) and 123rd defensively (68.2 points conceded). Penn State is 295th in the nation in rebounds per game (29.6) and 281st in rebounds conceded (32.6).

Penn State is the second-best squad in college basketball in 3-pointers made (10.8 per game) and eighth-best in 3-point percentage (38.9%). Defensively, the Nittany Lions are 228th in college basketball in 3-pointers conceded per game at 7.6. They are 237th in 3-point percentage conceded at 34.6%.

The Nittany Lions have gone 5-5 over their last 10 contests, with a 4-5-1 record against the spread in that span. Six of Penn State’s past 10 games have gone over the total. In its last 10 games, Penn State is scoring 69.8 points per game, 2.6 fewer points than its season average (72.4). The Nittany Lions are giving up 71.4 points per game over their past 10 games, compared to their season average of 68.2 points allowed.

Illinois vs. Penn State Prediction & Pick

Our prediction to win this game is Illinois, and we predict that Penn State will cover the spread (Illinois -2.5). Finally, we see the scoring in this one going over the posted total of 140 points.

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How to bet Illinois vs. Penn State

You can bet on Illinois vs. Penn State 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 Illinois vs. Penn State 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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