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Ohio St. vs. Illinois Gambling Preview | Free Prediction

Ohio St. Buckeyes vs Illinois Fighting Illini Free College Basketball Pick

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#1 Ohio State (19-0, 6-0 BIG TEN) at Illinois (14-5, 4-2 BIG TEN)
Date/Time: Saturday, January 22, 2011, 12:00 PM EST
Venue: Assembly Hall, Champaign, IL.
Broadcast: ESPN
Money Line: Ohio State (-190) Illinois (+160)
Spread: Ohio State -4½
Over/Under: 134

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Ohio State continued its streak of dominance against Iowa, beating the Hawkeyes 70-48. Not a premier offensive team, they let the defense do the talking once again and carried a 40-23 lead at halftime.

They then kept the pressure on by scoring seven of the first nine points in the second half, growing the lead to a huge 22 margin. William Buford paced the offense with 15 points and Jared Sullinger added 13. It’s the third-best start in the school’s history.

One area of concern was turnovers, as the Buckeyes did have a season-high 20 and will need to control the ball better against tougher opponents like Illinois.

Ohio State offers an adequate offense with 79.3 ppg (21st) but has built its astounding record on precision, hitting 50 percent of its field goals (4th) and possesses good ball control by averaging 17.8 assists (10th). They do need to work on rebounding as they only manage 35.7 (150th). Sullinger is the catalyst with 17.4 points and 9.8 rebounds, while Buford backs him up with 13.7 ppg.

As for Illinois, it got back on track against Michigan State, beating the Spartans 71-62. They had suffered two straight defeats against PSU and Wisconsin and needed some confidence after various off court rumors were threatening the teams focus.

Brandon Paul stepped in to lead the charge with 20 points, 17 in the first half, and hold off a late Spartan rally. Down 67-62 with just more than two minutes to play, Durrell Summers missed a jump shot for the Spartans, and after several missed tips, Illinois came up with the ball and held the lead. The Illini hit over 60 percent of their shots in the first 20 minutes.

Illinois sits third in the Big ten with a 14-5 record. While they have not had the success of Ohio State, they have positioned themselves to be the spoiler of the conference. Living to their name, they are fighters who make the most of their abilities, scoring 75.2 ppg (58th) and average 16.9 assists (19th). Like the Buckeyes, rebounding is not a strong suit, as they average 35.2 (178th), and a strong from the field hitting 48 percent of their field goals. Demetri McCarney leads the team in scoring with 16.2 ppg and 7.2 assists. Beyond him, there is only Davis as a scoring threat, but he manages only 10.7 ppg and 6.7 rebounds.

While there may be a loss somewhere on Ohio State’s schedule, it isn’t against Illinois. But, they will need to work for it, as the Illini are no rollover, and to have the firepower to come up victorious.

Betting Trends:

Ohio State is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games on the road
The total has gone OVER in 6 of Ohio State’s last 7 games on the road
Illinois is 14-5 SU in its last 19 games
The total has gone OVER in 4 of Illinois’s last 6 games
Illinois is 11-1 SU in its last 12 games at home
Illinois is 2-8 SU in its last 10 games when playing Ohio State

Free Pick: Ohio State

Matt Martz is a freelance writer located in Central California. Blessed is the gambler who expects nothing, for ye shall not be disappointed.

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