Illinois vs. Wisconsin Prediction, Odds, and Key Players for Saturday, March 2

Feb 28, 2024; Champaign, Illinois, USA; Illinois Fighting Illini forward Dain Dainja (42) drives the
Feb 28, 2024; Champaign, Illinois, USA; Illinois Fighting Illini forward Dain Dainja (42) drives the / Ron Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

A huge game is set to go down in the Big Ten on Saturday when No. 13 Illinois hits the road to take on the Wisconsin Badgers.

Illinois still has a shot at catching Purdue atop the conference standings, but they can't afford to lose the rest of the way so today's game against Wisconsin becomes a must-win if they want to challenge the Boilermakers.

Meanwhile, Wisconsin is in the middle of a log jam in the Big Ten as teams jockey for position in the conference tournament. Today's result will go a long way in determining the seeding.

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Illinois vs. Wisconsin odds, spread, and total

Illinois vs. Wisconsin betting trends

  • The OVER is 8-0 in Illinois' last eight games
  • Illinois is 7-0 ATS in its last seven games vs. Wisconsin
  • Illinois is 1-9 ATS in its last 10 games played in March
  • Wisconsin is 0-7 ATS in its last seven games
  • The OVER is 9-3 in Wisconsin's last 12 games

Illinois vs. Wisconsin how to watch

  • Date: Saturday, March 2 
  • Game time: 1:00 p.m. EST
  • Venue: Kohl Center
  • How to watch (TV): BTN
  • Illinois record: 21-7 (12-5 in Big Ten)
  • Wisconsin record: 18-10 (10-7 in Big Ten)

Illinois vs. Wisconsin key players to watch


Terrence Shannon Jr.: There's no question who the best player on Illinois is. Terrence Shannon Jr. is averaging 21.9 points per game this season and 24.3 points on the road. he has also scored at least 27 points in five of his last six games which includes a 35-point performance at Penn State. Wisconsin has to shut him down to have any hope of beating the Fighting Illini.


Steven Crowl: If Wisconsin wants to attack Illinois down low, that's going to come down to Steven Crowl. He's averaging 11.2 points and 7.7 rebounds. His production on offense isn't going to be the only key par of his performance, but shutting down Shannon Jr. is also going to be what helps determine the outcome of this game.

Illinois vs. Wisconsin prediction and pick

I broke down my best bet for this game in today's edition of the "Daily Dunk":

"Defense should be the difference maker in this Big Ten showdown. Both teams have solid shooting numbers, but the Fighting Illini have a clear defensive advantage. Heading into this game, Illinois ranks 45th in opponent effective field goal percentage and 107th in defensive efficiency while Wisconsin enters the game ranking 272nd in opponent effective field goal percentage and 170th in defensive efficiency.

"I think that's enough to back Illinois as a small underdog in this game."

Pick: Illinois +3.5

Odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.

You can check out all of Iain's bets here!