The No. 8 seed Arkansas Razorbacks will battle the No. 9 seed Illinois Fighting Illini in a March Madness West Region matchup in the 2023 NCAA Tournament on Thursday. The winner will most likely face No. 1 seed Kansas in the second round. The Razorbacks (20-13, 8-10 SEC), who tied for ninth in the SEC standings, have lost four of five. The Fighting Illini (20-12, 11-9 Big Ten), who tied for fifth in the Big Ten, have dropped three of four. This is Illinois’ 33rd NCAA Tournament appearance, while Arkansas is making its 35th appearance. Illinois leads the all-time series 5-0, including a 4-0 edge on neutral courts.
Tipoff from the Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines, Iowa, is set for 4:30 p.m. ET. The Razorbacks are 2-point favorites in the latest Illinois vs. Arkansas odds from Caesars Sportsbook, while the over/under for total points scored is set at 143.5. Before making any Arkansas vs. Illinois picks, be sure to check out the college basketball predictions and betting advice from the SportsLine Projection Model.
The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every Division I college basketball game 10,000 times. The model enters the 2023 NCAA Tournament 79-53 on all-top rated college basketball picks this season, returning nearly $1,300 for $100 players. Anybody who has followed it has seen huge returns.
Now, the model has set its sights on Illinois vs. Arkansas and just locked in its picks and CBB predictions. You can visit SportsLine now to see the model’s picks. Here are the college basketball lines and trends for Arkansas vs. Illinois:
- Illinois vs. Arkansas spread: Arkansas -2
- Illinois vs. Arkansas over/under: 144.5 points
- Illinois vs. Arkansas money line: Illinois +115, Arkansas -135
- ILL: The Fighting Illini are 5-2 against the spread in their last seven games against a team with a winning % above .600
- ARK: The Razorbacks are 4-1 ATS in their last five neutral-site games
- Illinois vs. Arkansas picks: See picks here
Why Arkansas can cover
Junior guard Ricky Council IV helps power the Razorbacks. In 33 games, including 26 starts, he is averaging 15.9 points, 3.4 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.2 steals. He is connecting on 44.5% of his field goals and 77.4% of his free throws. Entering the SEC Tournament, he had reached double-figure scoring in five consecutive games, including 22 points in a 97-65 win over Georgia on Feb. 21. He scored a season-high 27 points in a 74-61 win over…
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