Check out our free Penn State vs Illinois pick and preview for this NCAA Basketball game in Champaign. See who we like to win and cover the spread in this College Basketball matchup.

Penn State vs Illinois Pick & Preview: Saturday, December 10th Betting Odds

Nittany Lions vs Fighting Illini Matchup at a Glance

  • Sport: NCAAB
  • Teams: Penn State Nittany Lions at Illinois Fighting Illini
  • Where: Champaign at State Farm Center
  • Date: Saturday, December 10th
  • Betting Odds: Penn State +10, PENNST +400 | ILL -552 O/U 139.5

Nittany Lions Preview:

The Penn State Nittany Lions head into today’s game in what will be their 10th game of the season, posting a record of 6-3. On the road, the Nittany Lions will be playing their 3rd game of the season, having gone 1-2. So far, the Nittany Lions have been the underdog 2 times, going 0-2 straight up. Heading into today’s contest, they are the +10 underdogs on the spread.

Jalen Pickett comes into today’s game as the Nittany Lions’ leading scorer at 15.78 points per contest. Not only has Pickett been key to the team’s scoring efforts, but he is Penn State’s top rebounder at 7.78 boards per contest. Behind Pickett, the team has benefited from the strong play of Seth Lundy who is second on the team in scoring at 13.89 points per game. Overall, he has hit 53.4% of his shots and is adding 6.78 boards per game.

Offensive production has been hard to come by for Penn State this season, as they are currently ranked 391st in college basketball at 64.6 points per game. A major reason for low scoring totals is the fact that that have played at a below average pace, and have struggled to knock down outside shots. As a team, the Nittany Lions’ 3-point shooting percentage sits at just 34.2%, placing them 237th in the NCAA.

Fighting Illini Preview:

The Illinois Fighting Illini head into today’s game in what will be their 10th game of the season, posting a record of 7-2. So far this season, Illinois has played 5 games at home, sitting with a record of 5-0. The Fighting Illini’s are sitting with a betting line that is -10 points in their favor. For the season, Illinois has been favored to win in 6 games, sitting with a mark of 5-1.

Illinois will be counting on another strong performance from the team’s leading scorer Terrence Shannon Jr. who is averaging 19.33 points per game for the Fighting Illini. Jr. is also important to the team’s ability to score on the perimeter. So far, he leads the team in 3-point shots made. Also key to the Fighting Illini’s offensive gameplan is the play of Dain Dainja who has hit 72.9% of his field goal attempts on his way to averaging 10.89 points per game.

So far this season, Illinois has put together a strong scoring offense at 75.8 points per game (66th). This strong figure has come despite the Fighting Illini playing at a slow tempo compared to other schools. For the season, they have hit 36.7% of their shots from outside, which is closer to the NCAA average. Illinois’ overall field goal percentage currently sits at 45.3%

Free Spread Prediction: Illinois Fighting Illini -10

When it comes to getting a bet down for this game, our model points to Illinois coming away with both a straight up and ATS win over Penn State as -10 point favorites. Illinois should feel comfortable with the pace of this game, as Penn State also prefers to slow the game down. In addition, we like how the Fighting Illini’s have been peforming well when favored to win, as they have made bettors money of late. In Illinois’ previous 5 games as the favorite, they are 4-1 vs the spread. We will be riding that trend and cashing in on the Illinois Fighting Illini to win and cover vs Penn State.