Illinois Sports Betting: How to Wager on the Illinois Fighting Illini


We are just one month away from the beginning of March Madness. So, to help prepare for one of the best sporting events of the year, we are going to dive into one of the top teams that has the potential to make a lot of noise come March. 


Illinois Odds to Win Big 10

The Fighting Illini was a team that was not getting the respect they deserved entering the season. In the AP preseason poll, they were unranked and were +600 to win their conference. Since then, though much has changed, everybody now recognizes that Illinois is a team to be reckoned with. 

Illinois is in the midst of a three-team heat at the top of the Big 10 conference. They currently sit a half a game behind the Purdue Boilermakers and are tied with the Wisconsin Badgers for second. The Fighting Illini will have a tough road to make up that gap between the Boilermakers as they will face two ranked teams over their last four games. Purdue has a very similar schedule and only needs to slip up once for the Illini to be able to claim first place. Their current odds at FanDuel Sportsbook reflect that as they are +118 to win the Big 10.


Illinois Odds to Win the National Championship 

We now know that the Fighting Illini have gained all sorts of national recognition throughout the season as they went from being unranked in the preseason to being currently ranked as the 12th-best team in the country. While that is all fine and dandy, what is really important is how their gaining reputation impacts the National Title picture. 

According to ESPN’s Joe Lunardi and his Bracketology projections, Illinois is currently projected to be a 3-seed in the south region. History shows that being a top-three seed drastically increases your chances of winning it all, as in the last 36 years, the champion has been a top-three seed 32 times. Three-seeds exactly have won 11% of the time over that span, substantially more than any lower seed.

While the odds may be swaying in their favor, their region may be as stout as it gets. Lunardi projects the South Region to be filled with the likes of Arizona, Baylor, Ohio State, Tennessee and UConn. These are all teams that are currently ranked in the AP top 25. So their seed may give them an edge, but there is a good reason as to why they are currently +4000 to win the title at FanDuel.

Kofi Cockburn Wooden Award Odds

One of the main reasons for Illinois’ meteoric rise this season has been the production of Kofi Cockburn. The seven-foot, 285-pound junior from Jamaica has become the college basketball’s modern-day version of Shaq. Cockburn has been dominant this year, as he is averaging 21 points and 11 rebounds per game. 

Cockburn is currently second in line regarding odds to become the National Player of the Year. His +550 odds at FanDuel still hold plenty of value as the award will not be announced until after the tournament. So, that give Cockburn plenty of time to introduce himself to the public as he dominates his way through March.

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