After starting the season 1-0, the Illinois basketball team is back in action against Oakland on Friday night.
This game might seem tough for the Illini, as the Golden Grizzlies just came within six points of knocking off Ohio State just days ago. But Illinois should be ready for the challenge.
Illinois has seen recent success against non-major conference teams as well. In 2022-23 and the first game this season, the Illini have played seven of these non-major conference teams and have won by an average of 31.6 points.
Here is the game info and best bets for the Illinois basketball game against Oakland
- Illinois Fighting Illini vs Oakland Golden Grizzlies
- 7:00 p.m. CT
- TV: BTN+
- Illinois -24 (-112) (Spread)
I think Illinois is a much better team than Oakland. While the Golden Grizzlies did put up a fight against Ohio State just days ago, the Illini are a tough matchup. I see the length of the Illinois guards getting to a guard-heavy Oakland squad. This will make them struggle on the perimeter and not be able to score at a high clip.
- Under 150 Points (-102) (Over/Under)
People are going to look at Oakland and how they only lost by six points to Ohio State and think they are a good team. I believe the Buckeyes are pretty bad this season, as they lost their best player from a 16-win campaign last year. Look for Illinois’ defense to hold Oakland to way below the 73 points they scored in the Ohio State game. With the Illini being able to rotate in fresh bodies constantly, this will wear the Golden Grizzlies down. I expect the final score for Oakland to be in the high 50s.
- Oakland Under 28.5 Points (-120) (First Half Points)
As mentioned above, I believe Oakland is going to struggle against a long Illinois team. Ty Rodgers will give them problems, as he runs the point at 6-foot-6. They aren’t good at rebounding either. The Golden Grizzlies are undersized and should get beat down on the glass. I expect Illinois to outrebound Oakland by a 10+ margin on Friday night. This limits second-chance points and will limit Oakland’s scoring ability.