Unranked Penn State heads to Champaign to face #17 Illinois at 12:00 PM ET Saturday afternoon. Can the Fighting Illini cover the 10.5-point spread as home favorites?
Penn State is 6-3 on the year with their best wins coming over Butler and Colorado State. Their worst losses came against Virginia Tech and Clemson. The Nittany Lions are 5-3-1 against the spread this season.
Penn State vs. Illinois Prediction & Odds
Illinois is 7-2 this season with their best wins coming over UCLA and Texas. Their only losses came against Virginia and Maryland. The Fighting Illini are 5-3-1 against the spread this year.
Game Matchup and Betting Odds
605 Penn State Nittany Lions (+10.5) vs. 606 Illinois Fighting Illini (-10.5); O/U 140.5
12:00 PM ET, Saturday, December 10, 2022
State Farm Center, Champaign, IL
Penn State vs. Illinois Public Betting Information
Our CBB Public Betting Information page indicates that the public is split on this contest. Our public betting data illustrates that 50% of public bets are on Illinois -10.5. Do note that these numbers are subject to change and could be different once tipoff rolls around, so be sure to check the link so you’re receiving the most up-to-date public betting data.
Penn State Game Notes
Penn State’s best player is senior guard Jalen Pickett. Pickett has been stuffing the stat sheet in the early part of the season, as he leads the Nittany Lions in points per game (15.8), rebounds per game (7.8), assists per game (7.7), and steals per game (1.4). He’s done a little bit of everything for Penn State this season, and he’ll need to continue his stellar play for Penn State to cover the number on Saturday.
The Nittany Lions’ second-leading scorer and rebounder is senior guard Seth Lundy. Lundy is averaging 13.9 points per game and 6.8 rebounds per game on the year. He’s been shooting well in the first 9 games of the season, posting 53.4/46.7/74.3 field goal/three-point/free throw percentage shooting splits. He’ll need to hit some big shots for Penn State if they’re going to cover on the road against Illinois.
Illinois Game Notes
Illinois recorded a massive win over Texas on Tuesday night, topping the #2 Longhorns 85-78 in overtime at Madison Square Garden. Their leading scorers in that contest were forward Matthew Mayer and guard Terrence Shannon Jr. For the season, Terrence Shannon leads the Illini in scoring with 19.1 points per game. The 6’6” senior from Chicago is also leading Illinois in rebounding with 6.2 per game from his guard spot. In addition to scoring and rebounding, Shannon also leads Illinois in minutes played per game, total free throws made, and total three-pointers made. He’s the straw that stirs the drink for Illinois’ offense.
One of Illinois’ better frontcourt players is junior forward Coleman Hawkins. Hawkins is posting 10 points per game, 6.1 rebounds per game, 4 assists per game, and 1.6 blocks per game. The latter two figures lead the team. The Fighting Illini will need both Shannon and Hawkins to play well to cover against a pesky Penn State team.
Penn State vs. Illinois CBB Betting Trends
Penn State is 6-1 ATS in their last 7 games following an outright loss.
Penn State is 21-8-1 in their last 30 games overall.
Illinois is 4-9 ATS in their last 13 games following an outright win.
The road team is 6-2 ATS in the last 8 meetings between Penn State and Illinois.
Penn State vs. Illinois CBB Prediction:
This line is an overreaction to each team’s last result. Illinois just notched a huge win over #2 Texas on Tuesday night while Penn State lost by 9 to Michigan State on Wednesday night. The Nittany Lions are better than this line would suggest. They rank 8th nationally in assist-to-turnover ratio as a team, which means they share the ball and take care of it well. I think they cover the spread against Illinois on Saturday. I’ll take Penn State and the points.
CBB BETTING PREDICTION: PENN STATE NITTANY LIONS +10.5