Houston at Illinois - 3/20/22 College Basketball Picks and Prediction

Houston at Illinois - 3/20/22 College Basketball Picks and Prediction Photo by Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Illinois Fighting Illini (23-9) vs Houston Cougars (30-5)

Game Info: Sunday, March 20, 2022 at 12:10 pm (PPG Paints Arena)

Betting Odds: Illinois Fighting Illini +4.5 -- Over/Under: 133.5 Click Here for the Latest Odds

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The Illinois Fighting Illini will play the Houston Cougars in the second round of the NCAA Tournament on Sunday.

The Illinois Fighting Illini are 23-9 (15-5) this season and have won four of their last five games. Illinois is coming off of a win against Chattanooga by a score of 54-53 in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. Illinois struggled for most of this game and trailed for almost all of it before going ahead in the final seconds. Illinois shot 38.8% from the field and 17.6% on three pointers in the win. Kofi Cockburn led the Fighting Illini with 17 points and 13 rebounds in the game. Illinois is averaging 75.1 points per game and is giving up 67.2 points per game against, while also averaging 38.7 rebounds per game and 15.3 assists per game. Kofi Cockburn is averaging 21 points per game and 10.7 rebounds per game, while Alfonso Plummer is averaging 14.8 points per game and 2.5 rebounds per game for the Fighting Illini. Illinois is shooting 45.3% on field goals, 70.8% on free throws, and 36.7% on three pointers.

The Houston Cougars are 30-5 (15-3) this season and have won four games in a row. Houston defeated UAB by a score of 82-68 in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. Houston shot 53.3% from the field and made 10 three pointers in the win. Kyler Edwards led the Cougars with 25 points and 7 rebounds in the game. Houston is averaging 76 points per game and is giving up 59.1 points per game against, while also averaging 39.1 rebounds per game and 16.8 assists per game. Kyler Edwards is averaging 13.9 points per game and 6 rebounds per game, while Fabian White Jr. is averaging 13.2 points per game and 5.7 rebounds per game for the Cougars. Houston is shooting 46.9% on field goals, 66.9% on free throws, and 34.1% on three pointers.

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Houston is 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games and 24-9 ATS in their last 33 neutral site games. The under is 5-2-1 in Houston’s last 8 games. Illinois is 1-9 ATS in their last 10 Sunday games and 1-5 ATS in their last 6 neutral site games. The under is 4-0 in Illinois’ last 4 games.

Illinois really struggled in their opening game and was lucky to come away with the victory. Houston played very well against UAB and was able to do what they wanted on the offensive end. This should be a very fun game to watch and I think the pace will be very quick. I like the over here.

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

Mitch's Take...

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