Illinois (6-1) and Maryland (7-0) have combined to go 13-1 on the season and both just represented their conference well in the ACC / Big Ten Challenge. The Fighting Illini dominated Jim Boeheim’s Syracuse Orange squad 73-44 while the Terps’ humiliated Louisville 79-54. Brad Underwood’s U of I squad has played the better competition so far this season, which has to contribute to why they are just +1.5 road underdogs in this Illinois vs Maryland matchup.
Before Betting on Illinois vs Maryland
Illinois had a tough litmus test a couple weeks ago in Las Vegas, beating then #8 UCLA 79-70 but then falling 70-61 to Virginia, the current #3 ranked team in the nation. Those were neutral site games and Tuesday’s big win over Syracuse was at home so the visit to College Park will be their first true road contest of the season.
One thing that helps Illinois on the road Friday night is they play suffocating defense (#9 in adjusted defensive efficiency) and defense travels better than offense. That being said the Fighting Illini can score the basketball as well putting up 83.0 ppg which is 29th in the nation. Putting up those numbers with a top 25 strength of schedule is even more impressive for Illinois.
Maryland has to like the 7-0 start but really their signature win was an 88-70 win over Miami to win the Hall of Fame Tip-Off tournament. That’s so far the only loss of the season for the Hurricanes, but they’ve had a very easy schedule to start the season as well. The Terrapins’ 25 point win in Louisville was nice, but the Cardinals are also free-falling like never before with an 0-7 start to the year.
Fighting Illini vs Terrapins NCAAB Offshore Betting Odds
|BetOnline||Illinois (2.04) | Maryland (1.8)||145||Illinois +1.5 (1.92) | Maryland -1.5 (1.89)|
|Bovada||Illinois (2.05) | Maryland (1.8)||145||Illinois +1.5 (1.9) | Maryland -1.5 (1.9)|
|BetUS||Illinois (2.10) | Maryland (1.77)||145||Illinois +1.5 (1.91) | Maryland -1.5 (1.91)|
|SportsBetting.ag||Illinois (2.04) | Maryland (1.8)||145||Illinois +1.5 (1.92) | Maryland -1.5 (1.89)|
|Pinnacle||Illinois (2.01) | Maryland (1.84)||145.5||Illinois +1.5 (1.92) | Maryland -1.5 (1.92)|
|MyBookie||Illinois (2.01) | Maryland (1.81)||145.5||Illinois +1.5 (1.92) | Maryland -1.5 (1.89)|
Illinois vs Maryland Prediction & Pick
The College Park crowd is going to be amped up for Maryland’s Big Ten opener against an Illinois team that many expect to contend for the conference crown. Just like the Fighting Illini haven’t played a true road game this year, Maryland also hasn’t matched up to competition like this yet. Illinois is going to humble them a bit on Friday night.