Big Ten Championship Betting —.Wisconsin hopes to keep its momentum going vs. Illinois

  • In Charles Jay
  • Sun, Mar 17th, 2024 11:43:16 am
  • By Charles Jay - Exclusive to OSGA

Illinois rides into the Big Ten championship game with 25 victories. But the Wisconsin Badgers are propelled by a win over a high-ranking Purdue squad as they compete for a spot in the tournament.

BetOnline patrons who have followed Big Ten basketball this season may have noticed that the Wisconsin Badgers lost eight of their last 11 regular season games. And there are some people who had them as a “bubble“ squad coming into the postseason conference tournament.

But if you’re going to get hot, this is the time to do it. And Wisconsin has defeated Maryland , Northwestern and Purdue to get to the Big Ten title game against the Illinois Fighting Illini, which takes place at 3:30 PM Eastern time on Sunday at the Target Center in Minneapolis.

Those three victories moved Wisconsin’s record to 22–12, and they are very likely to get an at-large bid even if they don’t win this game.

It’s going to be tough to come down emotionally from their victory in the semi finals against Purdue, in a 76–75 overtime thriller. Zach Edey, the monster center for the Boilermakers, had 28 points and 11 rebounds, but Purdue committed 16 turnovers. Wisconsin got 22 points from point guard Chucky Hepburn, who had sat out the semifinal game against Northwestern with an injury, and they got quality minutes from three big men who hail from Minnesota – Stephen Crowl, Tyler Wahl and Nolan Winter — helping them to stay competitive on the inside.

Illinois got a heroic effort with 40 points from Terrence Shannon in their semifinal game, beating Nebraska, 98–87, as the team scored 35 points in the last ten minutes of play. This was the 10th time this season that the Illini have scored 90 points or more, and it was the 17th time that Shannon had reached the 20 point mark or higher. Nebraska didn’t help itself by shooting under 30% from three-point range.

Coach Brad Underwood has guided Illinois to a 25–8 record in his seventh year with the program. It is each of his last five seasons, the team has won at least 20 games. Previously, he had won 20 at Oklahoma State, and at Stephen F Austin he compiled an 89–14 record. Shannon, a Texas Tech transfer, has a tremendous ability to get to the free-throw line, and he has hit 23 of his 27 attempts from the charity strike during this tournament.

In the college basketball betting odds that have been posted on this game by the folks at BetOnline, Illinois is the favorite:

Illinois Fighting Illini -3.5 (-115)
Wisconsin Badgers +3.5 (-105)

Over 148 points -105
Under 148 points -115

Illinois is a team that tends to sit back on defense, not forcing many turnovers. That is kind of a contrast to Underwood’s tenure at SFA, where it was ALL about forcing turnovers. But this is a team that is very tough on the inside, at both ends of the floor. Coleman Hawkins, a 6–10 center, blocks or alters a lot of shots, and this team hits 54.4% from two point range. Wisconsin is a rather streaky team from the outside, making just under 35% from beyond the three-point line. They were 16 of 25 against Maryland in the opening game, but just seven of 32 against Purdue.

AJ Starr had a career high of 30 points against Northwestern in the 70–61 victory. The 6–7 forward is definitely someone for Illinois to worry about. But the wildcard here is Crowl, a seven- foot center/ forward who has gotten hot in this tournament. Crowl, who had 19 points against Northwestern, has shot 20-27 in the BigTen tournament, including six of nine from beyond the arc.

He’ll hope to continue that, of course. Wisconsin can bring bigs off the bench to keep Hawkins busy. They have the defensive edge, and they have the ability to force a slower tempo, not unlike a lot of previous Badger teams. And they keep their opponents off the offensive boards (13th in nation in that category), which is important here. We don’t feel uncomfortable with grabbing the points.

BetOnline is the greatest place to be on earth, for all of the NCAA Tournament action. They give you a lot of options, including prop builder, live betting and Odds Boosters, where you can get the best payouts available on pre-selected parlays. And getting into the action is a snap – all you have to do is use your credit card or any of the numerous cryptocurrency options they have available!

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