Illinois Fighting Illini vs. Michigan State Spartans 2/10/24 – The collegiate basketball landscape is set for an electrifying showdown as the Illinois Fighting Illini (17-5) prepare to face off against the Michigan State Spartans (14-9) this Saturday, February 10, 2024. With both teams showcasing strong seasons, the upcoming match at the Jack Breslin Student Events Center promises intense competition. As fans and bettors alike anticipate the clash, insights from NCAAB free expert picks suggest a game filled with strategic plays and standout performances.
Illinois Fighting Illini vs. Michigan State Spartans 2/10/24
|Saturday, February 10, 2024, at 2:00 PM ET
|Jack Breslin Student Events Center
— Illinois Men's Basketball (@IlliniMBB) February 8, 2024
Terrence Shannon Jr. (Guard) vs. Tyson Walker (Guard)
Terrence Shannon Jr. has been the catalyst for the Fighting Illini’s success this season, averaging 20 points, 4.1 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game. The 6’5″ guard is a dynamic scorer who can create his own shot as well as set up teammates. Shannon is shooting 46.8% from the field and hits just over one three per game at a 35% clip. He will look to exploit his size advantage over the smaller Tyson Walker. Shannon’s ability to get into the lane could be the difference if he’s able to draw fouls and get to the free throw line.
Tyson Walker has stepped up as the lead guard for the Spartans, averaging 19 points, 3 assists and 2 steals this year. Standing at just 6’0″, Walker uses his quickness and ball handling to create space for his shot. He’s shooting an efficient 46.5% from the field and 38.1% from deep. Walker excels in the open floor but can struggle when defenses are able to slow down the pace and make him a half court scorer. He will need to hit shots early to prevent Shannon and Illinois from locking in on him defensively.
This matchup features two stellar guards at different stages in their careers. Shannon’s experience and versatility gives him an edge over Walker. However, if Walker is able to dictate the tempo and find his stroke from three point range, his output could match Shannon. The guard that imposes their style of play and limits turnovers is likely to carry their team to victory on Saturday.
Illinois’ Offensive Firepower
The Fighting Illini have been an offensive juggernaut this season, averaging over 82 points per game. They rank in the top 35 nationally in field goal percentage (46.1%) and top 20 in three point shooting (33.9%). Illinois has scored at least 70 points in every game during their recent 4-1 stretch. If the Fighting Illini are able to push the pace and establish their uptempo offense, they should be able to take advantage of a Spartan defense that allows 74.5 points per game. Scoring depth, efficient shooting and Shannon’s playmaking ability gives Illinois confidence in a high scoring affair.
Spartans’ Balanced Approach
Despite their recent struggles, the Spartans still own one of the Big Ten’s top offenses at 74.5 points per game. They are led by the stellar backcourt duo of Walker and Jaden Akins, who combine for over 25 points and 5 assists per contest. Forwards Joey Hauser and Malik Hall pitch in a combined 25 points and 10 rebounds as well. However, Michigan State lacks a consistent inside scoring threat and relies heavily on perimeter shooting. They attempt over 18 three pointers per game, hitting at just a 36.6% rate. Turnovers have also plagued the Spartans during their current 3-2 stretch, committing nearly 14 per game.
NCAAB Betting Odds: TBD, Over/Under: TBD
As the betting odds remain to be determined, the current performance and statistical analysis favor Illinois slightly due to their offensive efficiency and road game record against the spread (6-1). However, Michigan State’s home advantage and defensive capabilities should not be underestimated.
Illinois Fighting Illini Betting Trends
Illinois are 4-1 in their last 5 games.
Fighting Illini are 2-3 in their last 5 games against the spread.
Illinois are 6-1 in their road games against the spread.
The totals have gone OVER in 4 of Illinois’ last 5 games.
The totals have gone OVER in 8 of Illinois’ 15 last games at home.
Michigan State Spartans Betting Trends
Michigan St are 3-2 in their last 5 games.
Spartans are 3-2 in their last 5 games against the spread.
Michigan St are 1-6 in their road games against the spread.
The totals have gone OVER in 1 of Michigan St’ last 5 games.
The totals have gone OVER in 7 of Michigan St’ 15 last games at home.
Illinois vs. Michigan State Betting Picks
Consideration should be given to both teams’ strengths and weaknesses; Illinois Fighting Illini are an attractive pick for bettors looking for value on premier betting websites; however, don’t overlook Michigan State Spartans resilient defense and home court advantage at Jack Breslin Student Events Center as potential options in underdog bets or total points markets.
Illinois must rely on offensive rebounding and minimal turnovers as key ingredients of victory, while Michigan State will look to their home advantage and defense to control the pace of play. Prop bets on individual player performances such as Terrence Shannon Jr. or Tyson Walker could provide extra betting value given their vital role in each team’s success.
Score Prediction: Illinois 78, Michigan State 73