Big Ten basketball betting odds, tips: Line moves toward Michigan State in early wagering for visit to Illinois

Illinois' Kofi Cockburn battles for rebound vs. Michigan State (AP Photo/Al Goldis)
Illinois' Kofi Cockburn battles for rebound vs. Michigan State (AP Photo/Al Goldis)
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Oddsmakers opened Michigan State a 1-point favorite at No. 22 Illinois on Tuesday, despite the Spartans slipping out of the AP Top 25 for the first time in three years. The Spartans were bet up to the -1.5 to -2 range in early wagering. Both teams enter ice cold on the offensive end, the total slipping to 141.5 from a 144 opener.

In other Big Ten action, No. 13 Penn State is catching 5 points on the oddsboard at Purdue, the Boilermakers prone to high-scoring games when laying single digits at Mackey Arena.

No. 9 Maryland, meanwhile, is laying its second most points ever to a B1G rival since joining the conference in 2014. The Terps are gifting Nebraska 17 points at Xfinity Center.

Odds, betting tips and situational trends for the evening’s three Big Ten contests below:

No. 13 Penn State at Purdue (-4.5, 134.5)

Tip: 6:30 p.m. ET / 5:30 p.m. CT (BTN)

What bettors need to know: Purdue (14-10 SU, 12-12 ATS) exploded for 104 points in a rout of then-No. 21 Iowa on February 5, the last time it tipped off the betting favorite at Mackey Arena. The Boilermakers went off 4.5-point chalk and won by 36 points (104-68), their largest Big Ten victory since a 107-57 thrashing of Rutgers in January 2016.

The Hawkeyes win also sailed OVER a 136.5 total, making the wager a perfect 6-0 this season when Purdue goes off single-digit chalk in West Lafayette. Matt Painter’s squad averages 75.7 points per game under these conditions.

Penn State (18-5 SU, 14-8-1 ATS), tied for second place with Illinois in the Big Ten standings, enters on a six-game win streak. The team is 5-0-1 ATS in this stretch, covering a -1.1 average line by a 9.1 margin. In four games against unranked opponents in this span, the defense has held them to shooting percentages of 33.3 (Indiana), 35.3 (Michigan), 38.7 (Nebraska) and 43.4 (Minnesota).

The Nittany Lions offense ranks 35th in the country in KenPom’s adjusted efficiency ratings, scoring 111.3 points per 100 possessions. The team’s offensive production will have to deliver up to season standards in order to overcome past shooting woes at Purdue. Since 2007, Penn State averages 56.3 points in 13 trips to Mackey Arena, scoring more than 64 in any game once (Feb. 2018).

Penn State is 10-2 ATS in its last 12 contests as a road underdog.

Nebraska at No. 9 Maryland (-17, 144.5)

Tip: 8:30 p.m. ET / 7:30 p.m. CT (BTN)

What bettors need to know: The 17-point spread is the most Maryland (19-4 SU, 14-9 ATS) has laid to a Big Ten opponent since the 2015-16 campaign (Rutgers, +23.5), as it aims to avenge a 69-61 defeat to Nebraska (7-16 SU, 11-12 ATS) in last year’s conference tournament.

The Terps owns the most efficient defense in the Big Ten, surrendering 88.1 points per 100 possessions. In six conference games at Xfinity Center, only one rival has scored more than 59 points (Iowa, 72).

The UNDER has hit in 10 of the last 12 games Maryland has hosted unranked conference foes, who are scoring 59.4 points per game on 38.2% shooting.

Nebraska is 2-10 SU and 7-5 ATS in Big Ten play, relishing being spotted points on the oddsboard away from home. The Cornhuskers have covered five of six conference road games as betting underdogs — though they are yielding an average 81.8 points to opponents.

Michigan State (-1.5, 141.5) at No. 22 Illinois

Tip: 9 p.m. ET / 8 p.m. CT (ESPN)

What bettors need to know: Michigan State (16-8 SU, 11-13 ATS) is slumping, losing three straight as the betting favorite for the first time since the 2015-16 season. Tom Izzo’s offense is ice cold, hitting 39.8% from the floor during the losing streak.

A road date at State Farm Center is not the best spot for the Spartans to rebound. They are 3-5 SU and 1-7 ATS in their last eight true road games, tipping off betting chalk in each.

Illinois (16-7 SU, 11-10-1 ATS) is also struggling on the offensive end, scoring 66 points or fewer in each of its last four contests. The program has dropped its last two games SU and ATS at Iowa (72-65) and Maryland (75-66).

Despite a stellar season to date, the Fighting Illini have largely floundered against the nation’s elite, going 1-5 SU and 2-4 ATS against ranked opponents. One of these defeats was against then-No. 14 Michigan State 76-56 at Breslin Center in early January. The Spartans dropped out of the AP Top 25 for the first time since the 2016-17 season this week, but the preseason No. 1 is a good bet to battle its way back into the fray before season’s end.

This story was compiled with the help of queries performed at SportsDatabase.

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