Michigan vs. Illinois prediction, odds: 2023 college basketball picks, March 2 best bets by proven model

Teams looking to finish in the top four in the conference and earn a double-bye in the upcoming Big Ten Conference Tournament clash when the Michigan Wolverines visit the Illinois Fighting Illini on Thursday night. The Wolverines (17-12, 11-7 Big Ten), who are two games behind conference-leading Purdue, have won three in a row. The Fighting Illini (19-10, 10-8), who are also in the mix, have won two of three. This will be the only regular-season meeting between the teams. Illinois is coming off a 72-60 loss at Ohio State on Sunday, while Michigan outlasted Wisconsin 87-79 in overtime that same day.

Tipoff from State Farm Center in Champaign, Illinois, is set for 7 p.m. ET. Illinois leads the all-time series 92-85, including a 58-28 series edge in games played in Champaign. The Fighting Illini are 4-point favorites in the latest Michigan vs. Illinois odds from Caesars Sportsbook, while the over/under for total points scored is set at 144. Before making any Illinois vs. Michigan picks, be sure to see the college basketball predictions and betting advice from SportsLine’s proven computer model.  

The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every Division I college basketball game 10,000 times. The model enters Week 17 of the season 76-46 on all-top rated college basketball picks this season, returning more than $1,600 for $100 players. Anybody who has followed it has seen huge returns. 

Now, the model has set its sights on Michigan vs. Illinois and just locked in its picks and CBB predictions. You can visit SportsLine now to see the model’s picks. Here are the college basketball odds and betting lines for Illinois vs. Michigan:

  • Michigan vs. Illinois spread: Illinois -4
  • Michigan vs. Illinois over/under: 144 points
  • Michigan vs. Illinois money line: Michigan +152, Illinois -180
  • MICH: The Wolverines are 4-1 against the spread in their last five games following an ATS win
  • ILL: The Fighting Illini are 5-1 ATS in their last six games following a straight-up loss
  • Michigan vs. Illinois picks: See picks at SportsLine

Featured Game | Illinois Fighting Illini vs. Michigan Wolverines

Why Illinois can cover

Senior guard Terrence Shannon Jr. powers the Fighting Illini. He is averaging 17.1 points, 4.8 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 1.3 steals per game. The Texas Tech transfer has reached double-digit scoring in each of the last six games and 12 of the last 13. He has recorded two double-doubles on the season, the last coming in a 76-50 win at Nebraska on Jan. 10, when he scored 25 points and grabbed 11 rebounds.

Senior forward Matthew Mayer, a transfer from Baylor, has stepped right into the lineup and has made a huge impact. He has started all 29 games he has played in this season, and is averaging 12.6 points, 5.3 rebounds, 1.3 blocks and 1.2 assists per game. He has connected on 42.4% of his field goals, including 36% of his 3-pointers, and 76.4% of his free throws. Mayer has reached double-figure scoring in each of his last five games, including a 24-point performance at Indiana on Feb. 18.

Why Michigan can cover

Junior center Hunter Dickinson leads the Michigan attack, and is coming off his second consecutive double-double. He scored 23 points and grabbed 10 rebounds in the 87-79 overtime win over Wisconsin. In that game, he drained the tying 3-pointer as time expired to send the game into the extra session. He has 11 double-doubles on the year. For the season, he is averaging 17.6 points, 8.6 rebounds, 1.6 blocks and 1.4 assists per game. He is connecting on 55.2% of his field goals, including 40.4% from 3-point range, and 74.3% from the free-throw line.

Sophomore guard Kobe Bufkin has been red hot of late, and is coming off a 28-point and eight-rebound effort against Wisconsin on Sunday. It was his eighth consecutive double-figure scoring game. He has recorded one double-double on the season, a 15-point and 12-rebound performance in a 68-51 win at Northwestern on Feb. 2. For the year, he is averaging 13.4 points, 4.2 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 1.3 steals.

How to make Illinois vs. Michigan picks

SportsLine’s model is leaning Under on the total, projecting 142 combined points. The model also says one side of the spread hits well over 50% of the time. You can get the model’s picks at SportsLine.

So who wins Michigan vs. Illinois? And which side of the spread hits well over 50% of the time? Visit SportsLine now to find out which side of the spread you need to jump on, all from the model that has crushed its college basketball picks, and find out. 

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