In perhaps the marquee matchup of the 2020 ACC/Big Ten Challenge, the No. 10 Duke Blue Devils host the No. 6 Illinois Fighting Illini on Tuesday night. Both teams enter this game with top-10 national rankings and impressive talent. Illinois is 3-1 this season, losing only to No. 2 Baylor on a neutral floor. Duke is 2-1 so far in 2020-21, with its lone loss coming against a top-10 opponent in Michigan State.
Tip-off is at 9:30 p.m. ET in Durham. William Hill Sportsbook lists the Blue Devils as 3.5-point home favorites, down from the opener, while the over-under, or total number of points Vegas thinks will be scored, is 146.5 in the latest Duke vs. Illinois odds. Before making any Illinois vs. Duke picks, check out the college basketball predictions from the SportsLine Projection Model.
The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every Division I college basketball game 10,000 times. Over the past four-plus years, the proprietary computer model has generated an impressive profit of almost $2,700 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 5-1 on all its top-rated picks and returning over $400. Anyone who has followed it has seen huge returns.
Now, the model has set its sights on Duke vs. Illinois in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge 2020. You can visit SportsLine now to see the picks. Here are the college basketball lines from William Hill and trends for Illinois vs. Duke:
Duke vs. Illinois spread: Duke -3.5Duke vs. Illinois over-under: 146.5 pointsDUKE: The Blue Devils are 6-8 against the spread in the last 14 non-conference gamesILL: The Illini are 6-7-1 against the spread in the last 14 non-conference games
Why Duke can cover
Coach K and the Blue Devils have strengths on both ends of the floor, which is critical in this difficult matchup. Duke is an above-average shooting team, posting a 53.0 percent effective field goal percentage, and that comes with above-average marks on 3-point attempts (35.5 percent) and 2-point attempts (52.8 percent). The Blue Devils also have an efficient shot profile that includes nearly 42 percent of their field goal attempts coming from beyond the 3-point arc. Duke also creates second-chance opportunities to the tune of a 32.7 percent offensive rebound rate.
Defensively, the Blue Devils are stingy across the board, taking advantage of their athletic, rangy roster. Duke has top-tier havoc rates in blocks (13.9 percent) and steals (12.1 percent), with opponents shooting just 28.1 percent from 3-point range and 45.1 percent on 2-point attempts.
Why Illinois can cover
The Illini are led by one of the best players in the country in junior guard Ayo Dosunmu. Dosunmu was a preseason All-American selection and, in the early going, he is averaging 23.8 points, 7.3 rebounds and 6.3 assists per game. Dosunmu is flanked by productive big man Kofi Cockburn, who is averaging 13.0 points and 9.8 rebounds per game.
The Illini are an elite offensive rebounding team, grabbing 47.2 percent of their own misses, and they have an elite 60.5 percent mark in effective field goal shooting. Illinois ranks as a top-10 team in the country from beyond the 3-point arc, converting 45.1 percent, and that is coupled with 57.1 percent from 2-point range. Illinois is also holding its opponents to just 43.2 percent on 2-point shot attempts.
How to make Duke vs. Illinois picks
SportsLine’s model is leaning over on the total, with 11 players projected to score at least nine points. The model also says one side of the spread hits in well over 60 percent of simulations. You can only get the pick at SportsLine.
So who wins Illinois vs. Duke? And which side of the spread cashes in well over 60 percent of simulations? Visit SportsLine now to see which side of the Duke vs. Illinois spread to jump on, all from the advanced model that is up almost $2,700 on its top-rated college basketball spread picks over the past four-plus years, and find out.