Chattanooga at Illinois: 3/18/22 College Basketball Picks and Predictions

Chattanooga at Illinois: 3/18/22 College Basketball Picks and Predictions Photo by Alex Martin/IndyStar / USA TODAY NETWORK

Illinois Fighting Illini (22-9) vs Chattanooga Mocs (27-7)

Game Info: Friday, March 18, 2022 at 6:50 pm (PPG Paints Arena)

Betting Odds: Illinois Fighting Illini -7.5 -- Over/Under: 135.5 Click Here for the Latest Odds

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The Chattanooga Mocs and Illinois Fighting Illini face off on Friday in a NCAA Tournament college basketball showdown at PPG Paints Arena. 

The Chattanooga Mocs come into this game with a 27-7 record overall and they have gone 17-15 against the spread. The Mocs were tested during the Southern Conference but they beat Furman by a point in the last game. Malachi Smith has been the top player for Chattanooga averaging 20.1 points while shooting 41.5 percent from the field. Chattanooga is averaging 74.7 points while their defense is giving up 64.7 points per game. In this game if Chattanooga wants a chance to get the job done they are going to need to find a way to slow down Kofi Cockburn. 

On the other side of this matchup is the Illinois Fighting Illini who sit with a 22-9 record and they have gone 13-18 against the spread. Illinois is having a nice season, but they haven’t quite lived up to the expectations this year. Illinois had dreams of winning the Big Ten but they were knocked out in their first game against Indiana. The offense only scored 63 points and that wasn’t enough as they were defeated by two points. Illinois is averaging 75.8 points while their defense is giving up 67.6 points per game. Kofi Cockburn has been the top player for Illinois averaging 21.1 points while shooting 59.8 percent from the field. 

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Illinois is 1-4 against the spread in their last five games overall. The FIghting Illini are 1-5 against the spread in their last six games against a team with a winning percentage above .600. The Fighting Illini are 1-4 against the spread in their last five neutral site games as a favorite. 

The biggest issue for Chattanooga in this game is going to be slowing down Cockburn, and with the team struggling against him, this game is going to get out of hand early. Look for Illinois to score close to 90 points, and the Mocs just aren’t going to have an answer for that. Back Illinois to cover the spread. 

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Shane’s Pick Illinois -7.5

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The pick in this article is the opinion of the writer, not a PickDawgz site consensus.

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