College Basketball Betting: Iowa Favored In Monday’s Marquee Matchup

Iowa Hawkeyes forward Josh Ogundele (left) and Iowa Hawkeyes forward Kris Murray (right) have a discussion while walking back onto the court during a game against Purdue
Image Credit: Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports

Bad news for sports bettors: College football’s regular season has come to a close. Good news for sports bettors: College basketball’s regular season is beginning to heat up, with several Power 5 conferences getting a jump-start on league play this month.

Going forward, will profile one marquee matchup every Monday through Thursday, examining that matchup from a college basketball betting perspective.

Monday’s slate of action is relatively light, a consequence of numerous schools in the midst of final exams this week (you know, the “student” part of the student-athlete equation). However, there’s one Big Ten clash of neighboring rivals worth watching (and betting).

Illinois at Iowa

Illinois Fighting Illini guard Alfonso Plummer drives to the basket against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights
Image Credit: Ron Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Tipoff Time: 7 p.m. EST
Illinois: 6-2 SU/3-5 ATS
Iowa: 7-1 SU/6-2 ATS
Big Ten Records: Illinois 1-0 SU/ATS; Iowa 0-1 SU/ATS

Odds: Side & Total

Sportsbook Spread Total
BetMGM Iowa -2.5 (-110) 150.5
Caesars Iowa -2.5 (-110) 150.5
DraftKings Iowa -3 (-110) 151
FanDuel Iowa -3 (-112) 151
The SuperBook Iowa -2.5 (-110) 150.5

Odds updated as of 4 p.m. ET on Monday, Dec. 6.

Betting Trends

Illinois Betting Trends

  • The Fighting Illini are 4-0 ATS in their last four games as a road underdog.
  • Illinois is 1-5 ATS in its last six Monday games.
  • The Over is 4-0 in Illinois’ last four games (all victories). The combined totals: 136, 179, 154 and 137 points.

Iowa Betting Trends

  • Iowa is 4-0 ATS in its last four games (three straight-up victories).
  • The Over is 7-1 in Iowa’s last eight home games.

Series Betting Trends

  • The home team is 6-1 ATS in last seven meetings.
  • The favorite is 5-1 ATS in the last six meetings.

Odds & Ends

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 and Iowa opened Big Ten play over the weekend. The Illini crushed Rutgers 86-51 as a 9-point favorite, while the Hawkeyes fell 77-70 at Purdue but cashed as a 15.5-point road underdog. (The Boilermakers are ranked No. 1 in this week’s Associated Press’ Top 25 poll.)

— According to, Illinois has hit the Over in 21 of its last 36 games dating back to last season, whereas Iowa is merely 20-17 to the Over since the beginning of the 2020-21 campaign.

The Illini and their opponents are averaging a combined 140.5 points per game this season. Consequently, Illinois has cleared tonight’s consensus total of 150.5 only twice — vs. UT-Rio Grande Valley (179 points) and vs. Notre Dame (154).

— This season, Iowa and its opponents have averaged 159 combined points per game. The Hawkeyes eclipsed 80 points in each of their first six games but have averaged only 72.5 points in the last two. That said, Iowa has toppled tonight’s 150.5 total four times this year — 179 vs. Longwood, 155 vs. NC Central, 190 vs. Alabama State, and 170 vs. Western Michigan.

— Illinois won both head-to-head encounters last season, defeating Iowa in Champaign (80-75), and then knocking off the Hawkeyes in the Big Ten tournament (82-71). The Illini covered the same 3-point spread in both victories.

— Player To Watch: Illinois center Kofi Cockburn (24.0 points, 10.6 rebounds, 68.2-percent shooting this season) is already making a strong case for Big Ten Player of the Year honors. In his last four games (all victories), the 2020-21 first-team All-Big Ten selection notched three double-doubles and averaged one block per outing. During this stretch, Cockburn also connected on 38 of 53 shots — a sensational 71.6-percent clip.