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College Basketball Ohio State at Illinois

January 20, 2009

College Basketball Betting - Ohio State Buckeyes at (25) Illinois Fighting Illini (Tuesday 7:00 ET)

Big Ten's Ohio State and Illinois have exceeded preseason prognostications and they meet tonight at the Illini's Assembly Hall.

Illinois is 7 -point favorites with a game total of 122 at in this contest that begins at 7 pm ET on ESPN.

Ohio State (13-3, 7-5 ATS) averages a pedestrian 67.7 PPG, not having a ton of offensive weapons to turn to.

Evan Turner and Jon Diebler are capable options and freshman William Buford was named Big Ten Player of the Week yesterday, so there is hope. However, this team's calling card is on the other end of the floor, playing defense.

The Buckeyes hold opposing clubs to 38.7% shooting and have been outstanding on the defensive end of late, going 2-0 last week while holding both opponents under 60 points.

Ohio State is 19-9 ATS in road games versus good shooting teams making 45% of their shots over the last three seasons.

Though Illinois is 3-2 in the Big Ten, they have played four of their last five games against ranked teams within the conference and nabbed the No. 25 slot in this week's latest Top 25 poll.

The Fighting Illini (15-3, 10-5 ATS) can also bring on the ball pressure, holding teams to 39.6% shooting and doing an even better job in limiting scoring, leading the Big Ten in scoring defense at 57.0 PPG.

Illinois has four players averaging double figures in points and is scoring 70.1 per game on the season in coach Bruce Webber's motion offense. Center Mike Tisdale and forward Mike Davis are the main reasons why this team has played better than expected all season.

The Illini had Michigan State on the ropes with five minutes left in the game and could not deliver the knockout punch in East Lansing. Illinois is 9-4 ATS off a loss.

The Illini can match last year's entire win total with a victory tonight; however it won't come easy against Ohio State. The Buckeyes have won five in a row in this matchup (4-1 ATS), with its smothering defense.

They have held Illinois to 55.4 PPG in the five straight wins and are 15-5 ATS on the road when playing against teams with an 80% or higher win percentage after 15 or more games on the year.

Visit the college basketball betting forum for more information and predictions or to post your own picks for Tuesday.

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