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NCAA Basketball Game Preview - Nittany Lions underdogs vs Fighting Illini at Illinois

Penn State Nittany LionsIllinois Fighting Illini
Feb 21, 8:15 PM | University of Illinois Assembly Hall

Penn State Nittany Lions vs Illinois Fighting Illini Odds

8-17TEAM RECORD19-8

Earning a win and covering the posted spread will be the goals for Penn State when they take on the Illinois Fighting Illini on Thursday in college hoops betting action.

Illinois battles the Nittany Lions, currently sitting with a 8-17 mark (10-11 ATS). The OVER/UNDER records, always important for totals bettors, are 10-13 for the Fighting Illini and 11-9 for the Nittany Lions.

View Penn State vs Illinois Odds and Stats.

Betting Line:
Illinois opened as 15.5-point favorites in this college basketball tilt over at 5Dimes but the number may be on the move. Watch for the opening total as well at BetOnline.

Power Rankings / Prediction:
It's a betting matchup between the No. 53-rated Fighting Illini and the No. 254-ranked Nittany Lions, according to the latest pro hoops power rankings here at Odds Shark. Prediction formulas run on this game indicate a possible 73-60 result in favor of the Fighting Illini.

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How They Match Up:
In the paint, the rebound battle will feature Illinois's No. 186-rated squad against Penn State's No. 141-rated roster. And in long-range shooting, Illinois rates No. 29 in the country with 8 per game, while their foes tonight rank No. 299 nationally with 4.9 per match.

Comparing how these foes stack up statistically, Penn State owns the country's No. 151-rated mark, allowing 68.5 points per game on the highway. Illinois, on the other hand, rates No. 129 in scoring at home.

Penn State was a 79-71 loser in its last match on the road against Michigan. They covered the 22.5-point spread as underdogs. Jermaine Marshall scored 17 points in a futile effort to lead the Nittany Lions to a win (they lost 79-71 to Michigan at Crisler Arena on Sunday).

Last time out for Illinois, they were a 62-41 winner as they battled Northwestern on the road. They covered in the match as a 3.5-point favorite. The battle between the Fighting Illini and Wildcats didn’t turn out to be much of a battle at all as Northwestern was handed a 62-41 defeat on Sunday at Welsh-Ryan Arena.

Penn State Nittany Lions Trends:
When playing on Thursday are 4-6
Before playing Michigan are 6-4
After playing Michigan are 2-8
After a loss are 0-10

Illinois Fighting Illini Trends:
When playing on Thursday are 8-2
Before playing Michigan are 5-5
After playing Northwestern are 6-4
After a win are 6-4

A few Nittany Lions at Fighting Illini trends to consider:
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Penn State's last 6 games when playing on the road against Illinois
Penn State is 6-12-1 ATS in its last 19 games on the road
Penn State is 3-9 SU in its last 12 games when playing on the road against Illinois
Penn State is 0-5 SU in its last 5 games on the road
Illinois is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Illinois's last 5 games when playing Penn State
Illinois is 9-3 SU in its last 12 games when playing at home against Penn State
Illinois is 13-5 SU in its last 18 games at home

Next up:
Penn State home to Michigan, Wednesday, February 27
Illinois at Michigan, Sunday, February 24