Illinois Vs. Wisconsin College Basketball Odds: Big Ten Championship Betting Guide

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Written By Eli Hershkovich | Last Updated
Wisconsin Odds

The 2024 Big Ten Tournament Championship tips off on Sunday, as the second-seeded Illinois Fighting Illini (25-8, 14-6) faces the fifth-seeded Wisconsin Badgers (22-12, 11-9) for a second time this year. The Illini are favorites, and Badgers are to nab the upset. Meanwhile, the total is . Let’s assess Wisconsin odds before the official March Madness odds are revealed on Selection Sunday.

big ten tournament: Illinois vs. Wisconsin odds

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Even though the Illini were expected to advance to this stage, according to the implied probability of Big Ten tournament odds, that wasn’t the case for the Badgers. Entering Thursday, Wisconsin lost nine of its last 11 games, ranking very low in Haslametrics’ momentum metric.

However, Greg Gard’s bunch has pulled off three consecutive wins in the league tournament, including a surprising victory over top-seeded Purdue in Saturday’s semifinals.

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Handicapping Big Ten Championship

In their only regular-season meeting, Illinois delivered 1.30 points per possession (PPP) for an upset win in Madison, Wis. Despite the Illini being the “better” team, the Badgers closed as three-point home favorites.

During Wisconsin’s aforementioned stretch, including the loss to Illinois, the Badgers experienced unfortunate 3-point variance. From Feb. 1 through March 13, they shot just 30.1% from behind the arc while surrendering a 39.8% clip. Wisconsin ranks No. 319 in open 3-point rate allowed, but there’s a big difference between poor shooting luck and defensive lapses.

During the Big Ten tournament, the pendulum has begun to swing in their direction. In this three-game span, the Badgers are hitting 41.8% from long range — juxtaposed with a 35.2% clip for their opponents. The return of Kamari McGee has also paid dividends. The 6-foot junior guard gifts Wisconsin one of its best defenders and rounds out Gard’s full rotation.

Comparing the previous line to this one, the notion that the Badgers are undervalued isn’t as strange as it sounds. If Wisconsin’s Chucky Hepburn and Tyler Wahl have shaken off their respective injuries, it’s even more justified.

Moreover, the Badgers’ prowess on the defensive glass (13th-ranked rebounding rate) should help limit the Illini’s prowess on the offensive boards. Remember that Illinois only generated eight of them in their last tilt. If a similar scenario comes to fruition, Wisconsin would have a better chance of implementing a slower pace.

They will need a more efficient performance from star wing AJ Storr, to boot. The St. John’s transfer went 4-of-12 (33.3%) shooting the first time around. Storr’s defensive effort is also worth monitoring, especially against Terrence Shannon Jr. — a one-man fast-break.

Eli’s Pick For Wisconsin Betting Odds

While I’m not wagering on the Badgers’ odds for the Big Ten tournament title, I pulled the trigger on the Badgers’ Final Four odds on Saturday afternoon. I’ve been pondering this bet for quite some time, and their much-deserved positive regression gave me the final push.

For reference, my raw numbers make the line a tick under Illinois -1. Our partner Haslametrics has a nearly identical number, forecasting a 77.8-76.7 win for the Illini. That favors Wisconsin’s odds regarding the spread.

Where Can You Bet On College Basketball Player Props?

North Carolina, Arizona, Colorado, Iowa, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia outlaw betting on college basketball props.

Virginia allows betting on in-state schools but not props on in-state players. The remaining states with sportsbooks allow wagering (plus live bets) on college basketball player prop odds, including in-state teams.

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