Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#729 ODU vs.
#730 Illinois
Saturday, December 14, 2019 at 6:00pm EST
Written by Blake V.



#729 Old Dominion University
#730 University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign


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Illinois will look to improve on its best win of the season when it hosts Old Dominion on Saturday night at the State Farm Center. The Illini are coming off a 71-62 home win against No. 5 Michigan on Wednesday night. They are now 7-3 on the season. Old Dominion enters Saturday’s game with a 3-7 record, having lost each of its last six games. The Monarchs are coming off a 69-57 loss on the road against VCU on Tuesday.

Old Dominion on six-game losing streak

Old Dominion has had a brutal stretch of games since mid-November. The Monarchs opened the season with wins in three of their first four games. Their season started with a 5-point loss to Northern Iowa on the road. They rebounded with wins against Saint Joseph’s, Loyola-Maryland and Northeastern in the following three contests. However, the last six games have not gone their way. The most recent losses were at the hands of William & Mary last week and VCU last Saturday. Their 12-point loss to the Rams broke a five-game losing skid as far as covering the spread.

The Monarchs are led by junior guard Xavier Green, who is scoring 14.6 points per game and grabbing 4.9 rebounds per game. He is the most efficient 3-point shooter on the team, making 16 of 46 attempts from beyond the arc. Junior guard Malik Curry is the only other scorer in double figures, adding 10.6 points per game. He is averaging a team-high 3.3 assists per game. Curry has not shot well from distance, only making 4 of 21 attempts from long range. Sophomore guard Jason Wade is averaging 9.8 points per game and 5.0 rebounds per game. Junior guard Marquis Godwin is scoring 8.7 points per game. He leads the team in made 3-pointers with a 21 of 68 mark from downtown.

Illinois off huge home win

Illinois did a fantastic job of breaking a two-game losing skid when the Illini picked up a huge home win against No. 5 Michigan on Wednesday night. Prior to that win, Illinois had dropped games to Miami and No. 3 Maryland. Their loss to the Terrapins came on the road by just one point. On Wednesday, the team responded with possibly the biggest win in recent memory. However, it was not technically an upset. Illinois closed as a 1-point favorite, despite being unranked and facing a top five team in the country.

The Illini are led by freshman center Kofi Cockburn, who had a double-double in the win against the Wolverines. Cockburn is averaging a double-double, scoring 15.8 points per game and adding 10.6 rebounds per game. He is complemented by talented sophomore guard Ayo Dosunmu, who is scoring 14.9 points per game. Dosunmu has struggled to find his range from downtown, only making 10 of 35 attempts from beyond the arc. Senior guard Andres Feliz is scoring 14.2 points per game and leads the team with 3.7 assists per outing. Trent Frazier and Giorgi Bezhanishvili are also scoring in double figures each game, with Frazier at 10.3 per game and Bezhanishvili adding 10.0 per contest.

Best Bets for this Game

Full-Game Side Bet

Insiders Status:


Old Dominion has what it takes to go on the road and cover this spread. When a big underdog is needing a big performance to keep a game close, defense is what travels. The Monarchs rely on their defense to win games and stay within reach of teams. They showed me that they still have what it takes to compete in games this season when they kept the game close against VCU and covered the spread. Old Dominion’s defense is No. 60 in the country and they play a slow pace, which should give Illinois some trouble. I like Old Dominion to go on the road and keep this game within the spread.

Prediction: Old Dominion +14.5

Full-Game Total Pick

Insiders Status:


I’m looking to the under in this game. Any time a big underdog plays a much slower pace than their opponent, they’ll look to emphasize that slow pace even more. Illinois wants to use its athletes to get up and down the court. The Monarchs are going to bleed the clock and stay in the half court as much as possible. Illinois has been going under in every game they play against the Conference USA, with its last six games against an opponent from this conference going under the total. Old Dominion has seen the total go under in four of its last five contests this season.

Prediction: Under 129.5

Written By Blake V.

Blake is a lifelong sports fan and hoops junkie. Prior to joining our team at Winners & Whiners and StatSalt, Blake worked for several newspapers and websites. He enjoys combining his beat writing expertise with the knack for finding the winning edge in a matchup. Remember, it’s a marathon, not a sprint.