Iowa vs. Illinois Prediction, Odds and Key Players for Saturday, Feb. 24 (Take home team to bounce back)

Feb 21, 2024; University Park, Pennsylvania, USA; Illinois Fighting Illini guard/forward Ty Rodgers
Feb 21, 2024; University Park, Pennsylvania, USA; Illinois Fighting Illini guard/forward Ty Rodgers / Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports

Illinois is reeling after blowing a big lead late in the game against Penn State on Wednesday, but now the Fighting Illini will do its best to bounce back on Saturday when they take on the Iowa Hawkeyes.

If Illinois wants to hold on to its second place standing in the Big Ten, it can't afford to lose another winnable game. Saturday's showdown with Iowa would fall under that definition as the Hawkeyes sit at just 8-8 in conference play this season.

In this article, I'm going to break down everything you need to know to bet on this game, including my best bet.

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Iowa vs. Illinois odds, spread, and total

Iowa vs. Illinois betting trends

  • Iowa is 2-5 ATS in its last seven games
  • Illinois is 4-1 ATS in its last five games vs. Iowa
  • Iowa is 5-12 straight up in its last 17 road games
  • Illinois is 13-6-1 ATS in its last 20 games
  • The OVER is 6-0 in the last six games for Illinois
  • Illinois is 11-1 straight up in its last 12 home games

Iowa vs. Illinois how to watch

  • Date: Saturday, Feb. 24
  • Game time: 2:15 pm EST
  • Venue: State Farm Center
  • How to watch (TV): BTN
  • Iowa record: 16-11 (8-8 in Big Ten)
  • Illinois record: 19-7 (10-5 in Big Ten)

Iowa vs. Illinois key players to watch


Payton Sandfort: Iowa's forward leads the team in both points (15.5) and rebounds (6.4) per game while also being the Hawkeyes' main three-point shooter, hitting his attempts from beyond the arc at a rate of 37.1%. Their key to finding some momentum in the final stretch of the season is Sandfort bringing his "A" game as often as possible.


Coleman Hawkins: The Illinois forward is one of the biggest difference makers the Fighting Illini have. He's averaging 1.7 steals per game this season while also being the second-leading rebounder, averaging 6.1. Toss in 2.7 assists per game and this guy can contribute all over the court.

Iowa vs. Illinois prediction and pick

Defense is going to be the difference maker in this game. Iowa enters the game ranking just 250th in the country in defensive efficiency along with 246th in opponent effective field goal percentage. Iowa's opponent's effective field goal percentage goes up 4.1% when the Hawkeyes are away from their home court as well, so they have a lot working against them in this game.

Compare those numbers to this Illinois team that ranks 71st in defensive efficiency and 25th in opponent effective field goal percentage. The Fighting Illini are especially stout defensively at home, with its opponent's effective field goal percentage dropping 8.9% when Illinois is playing at the State Farm Center.

I'm not afraid to lay the big points on Illinois.

Pick: Illinois -9.5

Odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.

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