#3 Illinois vs #5 Iowa- Big 10 tournament Semifinals: Preview & Best Bets – 3/13/2021

By: Matthew Vale

Spread: Illinois -3 

Over/under: 155

March 13th  2021. 2:30 PM  Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, Indiana

Illinois Fighting Illini (21-6, 16-4)

Illinois is on fire right now and I have been fortunate enough to have been riding their coattails on winning my last 5 bets that I have placed on them. Most recently Illinois crushed Rutgers in the quarterfinals winning 90-68 over the Scarlet Knights. Dosunmu was masterfully once again leading the team with 23 points, 6 assists and 5 rebounds. Kofi Cockburn also had himself a nice game with 18 points and 12 rebounds. In their only matchup with Iowa this season, the Illini were able to defeat the Hawkeyes at home with a 5 point victory. The big story in that game was the shooting of the Illini as they were able to convert on half of their shot attempts. Another big difference in that one was Illinois winning the rebound margin grabbing 6 more boards than the Hawkeyes.

Iowa Hawkeyes (21-7, 14-6)

Iowa comes into this game after holding off the Badgers winning a hard fought game by 5 points. Once again Luka Garza was the star as the unanimous All Big 10 selection led the Hawkeyes with 24 points and 9 rebounds. Joe Weiskamp stepped up in a big way in the victory knocking down two huge baskets down the stretch. He finished with 10 points and 7 rebounds. This was one of Iowa’s best defensive performances of the season as they held Wisconsin to 57 points on 38% shooting. They will need a similar defensive effort in this game if they want to upset the Fighting Illini.


I like Illinois to win this game straight up. Especially with Baylor losing yesterday, I am confident in saying that there is no team playing better basketball in the entire country than the Illinois Fighting Illini. Illinois has won 12 of their last 13 games SU as well as their last 5 in a row ATS. Iowa does not have a ton of experience this season playing as the under dog but they have lost 3 of their 5 games where they have not been the favorite. Illinois on the other hand is 17-5 as the favorite. Even though the numbers match up pretty well with each other, I think Illinois has the “It” factor and looks like they are a team on a mission. Luka Garza might win the National Player of the Year, but Ayo Dosunmu has been playing just as well if not better and he and the Illini have the better supporting cast. Careful for how high this spread gets. I am confident Illinois will win straight up so if you want to go the conservative route and you can find a good number, Illinois ML is not a bad bet. I also like the under in this game because 155 is a very high number especially for what should be a hard fought battle between these two teams.

Lets roll with Illinois -3 and under 155 for 1 unit each.

Matthew’s college basketball record 20/21: 16-9

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