College Basketball Betting: Illinois-Notre Dame Clash In ACC-Big Ten Challenge

Kofi Cockburn #21 of the Illinois Fighting Illini reacts to a basket against the Loyola Chicago Ramblers during the first half in the second round game of the 2021 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on March 21, 2021 in Indianapolis, Indiana.
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The annual ACC-Big Ten Challenge headlines another robust week of college basketball action, with the super-sized conferences battling 14 times over a three-night span (Monday-Wednesday).

Props.com will profile each night’s marquee matchup, beginning with Monday’s clash of Notre Dame versus Illinois. The Fighting Illini, who have Big Ten Player of the Year candidate Kofi Cockburn back in the starting lineup after a suspension, were ranked as high as No. 4 in preseason polls but enter this one unranked. Same goes for the Fighting Irish, who have dropped two of their last three.

Notre Dame (3-2 SU/1-4 ATS) at Illinois (4-2 SU/1-4-1 ATS)

Illinois Fighting Illini forward Coleman Hawkins (right) pulls down a rebound in front of Arkansas State Red Wolves forward Markise Davis (left)
Image Credit: Ron Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Tipoff Time: 9 p.m. EST
TV: ESPN2

Odds: Side & Total

Sportsbook Spread Total
BetMGM Illinois -4.5 (-110) 138.5
Caesars Illinois -4 (-110) 138.5
DraftKings Illinois -4 (-115) 140
PointsBet USA Illinois -4 (-115) 140
The SuperBook Illinois -4 (-110) 138.5

Odds updated as of 5:15 p.m. ET on Monday, Nov. 29. 

Betting Trends

Notre Dame Fighting Irish guard Prentiss Hubb (right) dribbles the ball while defended by High Point Panthers guard John-Michael Wright (left)
Image Credit: Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

Notre Dame Betting Trends

  • The Fighting Irish are 1-6 ATS in their last 7 games overall.
  • The Fighting Irish are 1-4 ATS in their last five road games.
  • The Over is 7-3 in the Fighting Irish’s last 10 games overall.

Illinois Betting Trends

  • The Fighting Illini are 0-4 ATS in their last four overall (all as a favorite).
  • The Fighting Illini are 0-5 ATS in their last five Monday games.
  • The Under is 6-1 in the Fighting Illini’s last seven Monday games.

Final Thoughts

Illinois Fighting Illini center Kofi Cockburn (left) dunks the ball as Texas Rio Grande Valley forward RayQuan Taylor (right) tries to defend
Image Credit: Ron Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

— Illinois is 1-2 against Power 5 conference teams this season, beating Kansas State by eight, and losing to Marquette and Cincinnati by one and 20 points, respectively. In their other three games, the Illini posted victories by point margins of 24 (vs. Jackson State), 39 (vs. Arkansas State), and nine (Texas Rio Grande).

— Notre Dame’s three victories have all come against lesser-light opponents, as the Irish defeated Cal-State Northridge, High Point, and Chaminade by 16, nine, and 36 points, respectively. The Irish are 0-2 against prominent competition, falling to St. Mary’s (62-59) and Texas A&M (73-67). Tonight is Notre Dame’s first true road game.

— The ACC boasts a lifetime mark of 138-113 in this event (launched in 1999), along with a 12-7-3 series record. On the flip side, the Big Ten has won four of the last seven challenges (including one series tie in 2018).

— Dating back to the 2014-15 campaign, Illinois is 1-4 in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. That includes a pair of losses to Notre Dame, which has a 4-3 Challenge record during this stretch. In those two head-to-head meetings, the Irish posted narrow victories of two and five points, respectively. The combined totals were 150 and 163 points.

— Notre Dame and its opponents are averaging a combined 133.3 points per game this season. However, the Irish’s last two games yielded 154 and 140 total points, with both easily going Over the total. Illinois also has topped the total in its last two contests. However, the Fighting Illini and their foes are averaging just 130.3 combined points per contest, and Illinois has hurdled tonight’s 138.5 consensus total just twice in six games.

— Player To Watch: Kofi Cockburn is one of four Illinois players averaging double-figures scoring (along with Alfonso Plummer, Jacob Grandison, and Coleman Hawkins). In two games since returning from a three-game suspension, the 7-foot center has averaged 30.5 points, 11.5 rebounds and one block, shooting a combined 23-for-39 from the field.

More ACC/Big Ten Challenge Action

Virginia Cavaliers guard Kody Stattmann (right) drives to the basket as Georgia Bulldogs guard Noah Baumann (left) defends
Image Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Iowa (6-0 SU/4-2 ATS) at Virginia (5-2 SU/3-4 ATS) — The Cavaliers will be gunning for their fifth consecutive victory when they host Iowa. Virginia, which has covered two of its last three games after starting the season 1-3 ATS, is a consensus 2-point favorite. The total is ranging between 129.5-130 at most sportsbooks.

Iowa has won all six of its games by 17-plus points, including three wins by more than 30 points. However, the Hawkeyes have faced just one Division I opponent (Western Michigan), and all six contests were at home.

The Over is 5-1 in Iowa games this year, while Virginia has stayed Under in five straight contests after topping the total in its first two.