Teams trending in opposite directions meet in a key Big Ten Conference matchup when the Maryland Terrapins face the No. 12 Illinois Fighting Illini on Sunday evening. Illinois (9-3), which has won four in a row, is second in the Big Ten at 5-1, one-half game behind unbeaten Michigan. Maryland (6-6), which has lost three consecutive games, is 12th in the conference at 1-5. The Terrapins’ only Big Ten win was at No. 6 Wisconsin on Dec. 28.
Tip-off from State Farm Center is slated for 8 p.m. ET. Maryland leads the all-time series 11-6, including a 4-1 edge in games at Champaign. The Fighting Illini are 10-point favorites in the latest Maryland vs. Illinois odds from William Hill Sportsbook, while the over-under for total points scored is set at 146.5. Before making any Illinois vs. Maryland picks, check out the college basketball predictions and betting advice from the SportsLine Projection Model.
The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every Division I college basketball game 10,000 times. Over the past four-plus years, the proprietary computer model has generated an impressive profit of $2,400 for $100 players on its top-rated college basketball picks against the spread. Anyone who has followed it has seen huge returns.
- Maryland vs. Illinois spread: Illinois -10
- Maryland vs. Illinois over-under: 146.5 points
- Maryland vs. Illinois money line: Illinois -550, Maryland +400
- MD: Has won the rebounding battle in all six of its wins this season
- ILL: Dating back to last season, the Illini have won nine straight home games
Why Illinois can cover
Illinois has five players averaging more than nine points per game, and enters a stretch with three of the next four games at home. Leading the Illini is junior guard Ayo Dosunmu, a National Player of the Year candidate. He is averaging 22.3 points, 6.8 rebounds and 5.1 assists per game. He is shooting 51 percent from the field, including 42.5 percent on 3-pointers and 81.5 percent from the free throw line. He has scored 30 or more points three times this season, including 36 at Missouri on Dec. 12.
Also leading the Fighting Illini is sophomore center Kofi Cockburn, who is averaging a double-double with 17 points and 10.1 rebounds per game. He leads the nation with eight double-doubles and has 16 blocks on the year. Cockburn is ninth in the nation in field goal shooting at 68.3 percent. He has 20 career double-doubles, which is fifth in the country among active players over the past two years.
Why Maryland can cover
The Terrapins have played Big Ten opponents close this season and have been within eight points or better in four of the last five league games. Junior guard Eric Ayala leads Maryland, averaging 14 points, three rebounds, 2.5 assists and one steal per game. He has been nearly automatic at the free throw line, hitting 86 percent of his foul shots. Ayala scored a career-high 23 points against La Salle on Dec. 22, connecting on 13-of-15 free throws. He also posted 17 points – all in the second half – in the win at Wisconsin.
Also powering Maryland is sophomore forward Donta Scott, who matched a career-best with 12 rebounds at Indiana on Monday. He scored 19 points against No. 16 Michigan on Dec. 31, connecting on all five 3-point attempts. He also posted a career-high 20 points against No. 19 Rutgers on Dec. 14. For the season, he is averaging 12.9 points, 7.3 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 0.8 steals.
How to make Maryland vs. Illinois picks
The model is leaning over on the total, with the simulations showing the teams will combine for 149 points. It also says one side of the spread hits in well over 50 percent of simulations. You can only see the pick at SportsLine.
So who wins Illinois vs. Maryland? And which side of the spread hits well over 50 percent of the time? Visit SportsLine now to find out which side of the Maryland vs. Illinois spread you need to jump on, all from the model that has crushed its college basketball picks, and find out.