The No. 2 Baylor Bears take on the No. 5 Illinois Fighting Illini in a battle between ranked teams on Wednesday evening. The matchup takes place as part of the Jimmy V Classic, with a national television audience for the contest. Baylor is projected as a national title contender, and the Bears are 2-0 this season. Illinois is also undefeated at 3-0, with the Illini knocking off Ohio in their last contest.
Tip-off is at 10 p.m. ET in Indianapolis. William Hill Sportsbook lists the Bears as 5.5-point favorites, up from the opener, while the over-under, or total number of points Vegas thinks will be scored, is 144.5 in the latest Baylor vs. Illinois odds. Before you make any Illinois vs. Baylor picks, check out the college basketball predictions from the SportsLine Projection Model.
The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every college basketball game 10,000 times. Over the past four-plus years, the proprietary computer model has generated an impressive profit of almost $2,600 for $100 players on its top-rated college basketball picks against the spread. It’s also off to a fast start in the 2020-21 season, going 4-1 on its top-rated picks and returning over $300. Anyone who has followed it has seen huge returns.
Now, the model has set its sights on Illinois vs. Baylor in the Jimmy V Classic 2020. You can visit SportsLine now to see the picks. Here are the college basketball lines and trends for Baylor vs. Illinois:
- Baylor vs. Illinois spread: Baylor -5.5
- Baylor vs. Illinois over-under: 144.5 points
- Baylor vs. Illinois money line: Baylor -250, Illinois +205
- BAY: The Bears are 20-12 against the spread since the start of the 2019-20 season
- ILL: The Illini are 6-6-1 against the spread in the last 13 non-conference games
Why Baylor can cover
The Bears are led by a stellar backcourt, headlined by the preseason Big 12 Player of the Year in Jared Butler. The junior guard is averaging 18.5 points, 4.5 assists and 2.5 steals per game, with Butler bringing two-way impact to the table. Next to Butler is senior guard MaCio Teague, who is also one of the better guards in the country, and Teague is averaging 18.0 points and 6.5 rebounds this season.
Baylor projects to be elite on both ends of the floor, with a top-five shooting efficiency mark and a top-five national ranking in offensive rebounding. The Bears are shooting 50 percent from three-point range and 56 percent from two-point range this season, and they have plenty of firepower.
Defensively, Baylor has been tremendous in securing the glass, grabbing 83.3 percent of available rebounds. On the perimeter, the Bears are stifling in terms of defensive pressure, leading to opponents shooting only 25.6 percent from three-point distance so far this season.
Why Illinois can cover
The Illini are one of the preseason favorites in the Big Ten, with high-end talent at multiple levels. Illinois is currently No. 1 in the country in defensive rebounding, allowing opponents to grab