Purdue @ Illinois 3/5/24 Free Pick, NCAAB Odds, NCAAB Predictions

Purdue (26-3) at Illinois (22-7)

Game Info: Tuesday, March 5th, 2024 at  7 p.m. EST (State Farm Center)

Betting Odds: Purdue (+110) - Over/Under (163.5)

Pick: Purdue (+110)

Two of the top teams in the country will face off here on Tuesday night in a huge Big Ten conference matchup heading into the final week of the regular season. This game will have plenty of implications, not only on the conference standings, but potentially the NCAA tournament as well as both of these teams are fighting for a number one seed. This should be a solid game between two of the top teams in one of the toughest conferences in all of college basketball here on Tuesday, as they will meet for the second time this season, when Purdue travels to Champaign to play Illinois here in this one. 

Purdue is put together an incredible season and they have spent plenty of time as the number one team in the country this year. They come into this game, looking to close the door on a Big 10 regular season championship. By doing that they would secure the top seed in the Big Ten conference tournament as well, along with a double bye in the tournament. Zach Edey made the correct decision by returning to West Lafayette for his senior season, as he has arguably been the best player in the country this year. Purdue likely still has that awful taste of their first round exit in the NCAA tournament last season when they became the second team to lose to a 16 seed as a number one seed. 

They look to erase that from their memory with a deep tournament run this season, and if they can remain consistent throughout the rest of the year, they will have a solid shot at doing exactly that. The Boilermakers come into this game as winners of 26 out of 29 games on the year, and despite a few mishaps along the way, they still boast a 15-3 record in a conference that many people consider to be the marquee conference in the sport this season. They will look to secure their 16th conference victory and their fourth win in a row with a solid performance here on Tuesday night on the road against Illinois. 

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Illinois has put together a successful season and they will look to keep the momentum rolling with a massive victory here on Tuesday night against one of the top teams in the country. This would be a huge résumé boost for Illinois as they get ready to head into the conference tournament next week and improve their seeding in the NCAA tournament if they grab an at-large bid. With the season they are having, that seems rather likely at the moment, but they will look to put the final touches on their résumé and potentially jump up a few spots in the seeding line with a victory here on Tuesday night at home. 

Illinois comes into this game as winners of 22 out of their first 29 games on the year and they will look to clinch a top four spot in the conference standings to improve their chances of winning the conference tournament championship. They come into this game on a three game-winning streak which puts them as the betting favorites in this one as they are favored over Purdue by a couple of points. They have been a tough team to beat at home this season, and they will look to hold through to that narrative with another solid performance here in this one.

Betting trends to consider in this matchup:

- Purdue is 6-3 on the road 

- Purdue is 6-0 against the AP Top 25 

- Purdue is 22-3 after a win 

I expect this to be one of the best games of the regular season as two of the top prospects in all of college basketball will face off here on Tuesday night. As Zach Edey leads Purdue up against Terrence Shannon and Illinois in what should be an incredible game. I look for this one to go down to the final buzzer but in the end I do look for Purdue to pick up the victory over Illinois on the road in what could be a potential preview of the Big Ten conference tournament championship game. 

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