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The No. 2 seed Iowa State Cyclones make their fourth trip to the Sweet 16 when they take on the No. 3 seed Illinois Fighting Illini in the East Region of the 2024 NCAA Tournament on Thursday. Iowa State (29-7) made a first-round exit in the NCAA Tournament last year after reaching the regional semifinals in 2022. The Cyclones have advanced this time around with double-digit triumphs over South Dakota State and Washington State. Illinois (28-8) is back in the Sweet 16 for the first time since 2005 after scoring at least 85 points in victories against Morehead State and Duquesne.

Tipoff from TD Garden in Boston is set for 10:09 p.m. ET. The Cyclones are 1.5-point favorites in the latest Iowa State vs. Illinois odds via SportsLine consensus, while the over/under for total points scored is 146. Before entering any Illinois vs. Iowa State picks, make sure you see the college basketball predictions and betting advice from the SportsLine Projection Model. 

The model simulates every Division I college basketball game 10,000 times. It enters the Sweet 16 round of the 2024 NCAA tournament on a 152-109 roll on all top-rated college basketball picks dating back to last season, returning more than $1,800 for $100 players. It also has a strong 32-21 (+890) record on top-rated spread picks this season, and it called 13 Sweet 16 teams this year. Anyone following has seen huge returns.

Now, the model has set its sights on Illinois vs. Iowa State and revealed its March Madness picks and predictions. You can head to SportsLine now to see the model’s picks. Here are several college basketball odds and trends for Iowa State vs. Illinois:

  • Iowa State vs. Illinois spread: Iowa State -1.5
  • Iowa State vs. Illinois over/under: 146 points
  • Iowa State vs. Illinois money line: Iowa State -125, Illinois +105
  • ISU: 26-10 ATS this season 
  • ILL: 21-13-1 ATS this season 
  • Iowa State vs. Illinois picks: See picks at SportsLine

Why Iowa State can cover

The Cyclones have been receiving strong offensive efforts from numerous players in the NCAA Tournament thus far. Five players scored in double figures in their first-round victory and four reached the 10-point mark in Saturday’s win. Tamin Lipsey, Milan Momcilovic, Keshon Gilbert and Curtis Jones reached double digits in both of Iowa State’s contests, while senior forward Hason Ward scored 10 points off the bench in the opener against South Dakota State. Jones, a senior guard, also has produced in a reserve role, recording 11 points versus the Jackrabbits and 14 in the triumph over Washington State.

Momcilovic led Iowa State with 19 points in the first-round win and Lipsey had a team-high 15 on Saturday. Lipsey, who is first on the Cyclones with an average of 4.9 assists, has dished out 11 in the NCAA Tournament. The sophomore guard also has gone 5-for-9 from beyond the arc and made all five of his free throws. See which team to pick here.

Why Illinois can cover

The Fighting Illini followed a 54.2% shooting performance against Morehead State in the first round with a 59.3% effort versus Duquesne. Senior forward Marcus Domask put on a show versus the Eagles, while senior guard Terrence Shannon Jr. was an offensive standout in both contests. Domask recorded 12 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists in Illinois’ first-round victory, becoming the first player to register a triple-double in an NCAA Tournament game since Murray State’s Ja Morant in 2019.

Shannon led the Fighting Illini with 26 points against Morehead State and was even more productive on Saturday, going 10-for-14 from the field en route to 30 points. Coleman Hawkins recorded 11 points and seven rebounds versus Duquesne, while fellow senior forward Quincy Guerrier added 10 and six, respectively. It was a solid bounce-back effort by Guerrier, who was 0-for-2 from the field and held scoreless for the third time this season in Illinois’ Tournament opener. See which team to pick here. 

How to make Illinois vs. Iowa State picks

SportsLine’s model is leaning Under on the total, projecting 145 combined points. The model also says one side of the spread hits in nearly 60% of simulations. You can only see the model’s picks at SportsLine. 

So who wins Iowa State vs. Illinois, and which side of the spread hits nearly 60% of the time? Visit SportsLine now to see which side of the spread you need to jump on, all from the model on a 32-21 roll on top-ranked college basketball spread picks, and find out. 



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