Morehead State vs Illinois Prediction College Basketball Picks 3/21/24

Illinois (26-8) vs Morehead State (25-8)

Game Info: Thursday, March 21, 2024 at 3:10 pm (CHI Health Center Omaha)

Betting Odds: Illinois Fighting Illini -12.5 -- Over/Under: 149.5 Click Here for the Latest Odds

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The Morehead State Eagles and the Illinois Fighting Illini meet Thursday in NCAA Tournament First Round college basketball action from CenturyLink Center Omaha. We will look at this from a betting perspective and determine the best bets for the game. Here’s a Morehead State vs Illinois prediction. We will examine:

• The Morehead State recent form and player performance

• The Illinois recent form and player performance

• Recent betting trends and streaks involving Morehead State

• Recent betting trends and streaks involving Illinois

• Recent betting trends in games played between Morehead State and Illinois

• A summary that ties it all together and produces a favorable betting outcome for the Morehead State vs Illinois game

Morehead State Eagles Betting Preview

The Eagles posted a three-game losing streak in February that dropped the team to 20-8 overall, but they’ve played well since then. Morehead State is on a six-game win streak, taking out Western Illinois, Southeast Missouri State, Lindenwood, SIU Edwardsville, TN-Martin and Little Rock.

On Saturday versus Little Rock, the Eagles were ahead by five points at the break. Morehead State hit a 37-28 run the rest of the way and took the victory 69-55 in the end. Riley Minix was the top team scorer on 26 points with seven rebounds and a pair of steals in 40 minutes of work.

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Illinois Fighting Illini Betting Preview

Over on the Illinois side, they’ve been able to stay highly consistent this year and haven’t lost consecutive games. Since their last defeat (by Purdue), the Illini have taken on Iowa, Ohio State, Nebraska and Wisconsin on the way to a Big Ten Tournament championship.

Illinois held a slim 41-40 edge on Wisconsin at halftime in their conference tournament matchup on Sunday. The Fighting Illini hit a 52-47 advantage in the second half and powered out the victory 93-87. Tops in scoring was Terrence Shannon on 34 points, four rebounds and two assists.

Illinois Fighting Illini Team Facts

  • Illinois has won each of its last seven games against non-AP-ranked opponents.
  • Thirteen of Illinois' last 14 games have produced a total of 148+ points.
  • Illinois has won the first half in 10 of its last 11 games.

Morehead State Eagles Team Facts

  • Morehead State has won each of its last six games.
  • Each of Morehead State's last six games against the Big Ten Conference Conference have produced a total of 146 or fewer points.
  • Morehead State has won the first half in each of its last eight Thursday games against non-Conference opponents.

Matchup/League Facts

  • Illinois ranks 358th among Division 1 teams for opponent turnovers per game this season (8.8).
  • Illinois ranks 6th among Division 1 teams for rebounds per game this season (41.4).
  • Morehead State ranks 2nd among Division 1 teams for opponent assists per game this season (9.0).
  • Morehead State ranks 6th among Division 1 teams for opponent field goal percentage this season (38.9%).

Morehead State vs Illinois Prediction

I’ll lean toward Illinois. The Fighting Illini are playing well right now and coming off a nice effort versus Wisconsin in the Big Ten Tournament championship. Illinois shot 52.6 percent from the field in that one with a 37-30 rebounding edge and just nine turnovers. The Illini are scoring very well these days, hitting 70 or more points in 18 straight games.

As for Morehead State, they didn’t have too many issues with Little Rock in their last matchup. The Eagles have hit 69 or more points in three straight games themselves, however they’ll see a significant uptick in competition here. Morehead State may be able to hang around for a while if all goes well but I don’t think they’ll cover if Illinois plays to their capabilities.

Andrew’s Pick Illinois Fighting Illini -12.5

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

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