Illinois basketball starts the 2023-24 season tonight against the Eastern Illinois Panthers.
It’s gambling time!
Here is the game info and best bets for the Illinois basketball game against Eastern Illinois
- Illinois Fighting Illini vs. Eastern Illinois Panthers
- 7:00 p.m. CT
- TV: BTN+
- Radio: The Varsity Network
- Illinois -29 (-110) (Spread)
These two teams played each other in 2022-23, and Illinois was able to win by 30 points. Eastern Illinois lost a lot of talent since then. Yaakema Rose Jr. is not with the team anymore, and he was in the top three in points, rebounds, assists, and steals. I think -29 is a stone-cold lead pipe lock.
- Illinois -17 (-115) (First Half Spread)
I believe Illinois is going to come out of the locker room with great energy. I think this team is ready to prove a point, and Eastern Illinois is going to be the victim. I see a big number on the offensive end of the court and our defense looks sticky on defense. Last season, we took a 15-point lead into halftime, and I think that grows to a 20-point lead this season.
- Eastern Illinois Under 25.5 points (-125) (First Half Total Points)
The Panthers put up 31 points against Illinois in the first half last season. I think Eastern Illinois got substantially worse, though. While they did add some okay pieces in Corey Sawyer Jr., and Jordan Booker, Eastern Illinois lost three out of the top five scorers, two out of the top three rebounds, and the top player in assists and blocks from 2022-23. If you mix in the fact Illinois plays lockdown defense, I think Eastern Illinois struggles to see 20 points in the first half.
- Eastern Illinois Under 56.5 points (-115) (Total Points)
Piggybacking off the first half total points being under 25.5, I think Illinois holds Eastern Illinois to fewer than 56.5 points in this game. Our starters are going to play some great defense, but when you get to the second rotation and bench players, usually that is when you get burned late in games with these types of bets. That shouldn’t happen with Illinois. This program can go 10-12 players deep, and I think our bench guys are going to come out and prove that they need more playing time moving forward. I look for them to shut down the Panthers’ offense.
- Illinois -34 (+160) (Alternate Spread)
Want to get even more value for your money? Up the bet and adjust the spread to max out at -34 in this game. Illinois is a better team than last season because of talent acquisition and this isn’t generally a new team. We have been together for an entire season already. I see this as a -39 spread overall, but the alternate spread doesn’t go that high.