Wisconsin @ Illinois 3/17/24 Free Pick, NCAAB Odds, NCAAB Predictions

Wisconsin (22-12) at Illinois (25-8)

Game Info: Sunday, March 17th, 2024 at  3:30 p.m. EST (Target Center)

Betting Odds: Illinois -3.5 (+100) - Over/Under (148.5)

Pick: Illinois -3.5 (+100)

The winner of the automatic bid for the Big Ten will be decided here on Sunday afternoon in the finals of the Big Ten Conference tournament. As the Wisconsin Badgers face off with the Illinois Fighting Illini is what should be the marquee matchup of the day. As this game will serve as the final game prior to the revel of the NCAA tournament field. At the moment it seems likely that both teams will be in the NCAA tournament regardless of the outcome of this game on Sunday afternoon.This should be an incredible game here on Sunday afternoon between two great programs. 

Wisconsin comes into this game with 22 victories through their first 34 games of the season. This game feels like a must win game for the Badgers if they want to secure themselves a spot in the NCAA tournament. It is fair to say that things are a little bit more cloudy for Wisconsin at the moment if they do not win the Big Ten automatic bid due to their double digit losses this season. Plenty of unpredictable things have happened throughout conference tournament week and Wisconsin does have a strong résumé, but nothing is guaranteed on selection Sunday. 

They win a lot more than Illinois does and they will look to get revenge for their loss to Illinois from earlier this month with a victory here on Sunday afternoon in Minneapolis. If the Badgers grab the victory in this game on Sunday afternoon, they will get an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament. Even if they don’t and they still get in, a victory in this game would greatly improve their seeding heading into the tournament as well. Wisconsin has been playing consistent basketball throughout the season and they will look to keep the momentum rolling throughout this game on Sunday and get themselves a conference tournament championship.

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Both of these teams have an opportunity to make a deep run in the NCAA tournament if they can remain healthy and consistent. However, if you had to pick one of them to go further, it is likely going to be this Illinois team as they have put together an incredible résumé this season. They will look to cap off with a Big Ten conference tournament championship for their 23rd victory of the year. The automatic bid would likely guarantee them at least a top four seed in the NCAA tournament as well, as it would easily position them as one of the top 16 teams in the country this season. The Fighting Illini have put together a quality run throughout the Big Ten conference tournament. 

They will look to cap it off with a conference championship victory here on Sunday afternoon against a tough Wisconsin team. Illinois comes into this game as winners of four straight including two over the last two nights against Ohio State and Nebraska to get them to the finals of this tournament. They are coming off of a victory over a Nebraska team last night that they dominated for the majority of the game. They’ve already picked up one victory on the road against Wisconsin from earlier this month and now they will look to get the job done again here on Sunday in Minneapolis. 

Betting trends to consider in this matchup:

- Illinois is 22-5 as a favorite 

- Wisconsin is 3-5 against ranked opponents 

- Illinois is 1-0 against Wisconsin this season

I expect this to be a solid game on Sunday afternoon in Minneapolis between Wisconsin and Illinois. In the end, I expect a similar result as we saw earlier this month in Madison. As I look for Illinois to pick up the victory over Wisconsin here in this one. Not only do I look for Illinois to pick up the victory over Wisconsin but I also look for them to cover the spread in the process in the Big Ten conference tournament finals. As I look for this one to be closed throughout the majority of the contest, but in the end, I do look for Illinois to pull away to cover the spread against the Badgers.

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