The Ohio State Buckeyes take on the Illinois Fighting Illini. Check out our college basketball odds series for our Ohio State Illinois prediction and pick. Find out how to watch Ohio State Illinois.

The Ohio State Buckeyes are in 12th place in the Big Ten. That doesn’t mean they’re eliminated from the NCAA Tournament — they still have a decent chance of making the field — but it does mean they have lost their margin for error and have to collect some wins. The obvious good news for a team in Ohio State’s position is that as long as it can pick off its share of wins against the non-Nebraska, non-Minnesota teams in the Big Ten, it will improve its portfolio for the selection committee. Beating Iowa this past weekend was a good start. The problem is that Ohio State hasn’t been beating many teams in the Big Ten of late, including Minnesota and Nebraska. Losses to the Golden Gophers (at home) and Nebraska (road) have pushed Ohio State onto the bubble. Coach Chris Holtmann has to find solutions and get this team straightened out. If he can’t, then Ohio State will be headed for the NIT, which would be a considerable disappointment. OSU has lost five of its last six games. The Buckeyes need to start stacking wins. They hope the win over Iowa was the start of a new trend.

Courtesy of FanDuel, here are the Ohio State-Illinois College Basketball odds.

College Basketball Odds: Ohio State-Illinois Odds

Ohio State Buckeyes: +4.5 (-115)

Illinois Fighting Illini: -4.5 (-105)

Over: 146.5 (-106)

Under: 146.5 (-114)

How To Watch Ohio State vs. Illinois

TV: ESPN

Stream: ESPN+

Time: 7:00 p.m. ET, 4:00 p.m. PT

*Watch Ohio State-Illinois LIVE with fuboTV (Click for free trial)*

Why Ohio State Could Cover the Spread

This is such a balanced and parity-filled Big Ten Conference. Anyone can beat anyone. Even Minnesota has looked more competitive of late. Nebraska nearly defeated Purdue three and a half weeks ago. Ohio State can definitely go into Champaign and beat Illinois because we have seen Illinois play very poorly in multiple home games this season against teams it was favored to beat. Illinois was a solid favorite at home against Penn State several weeks ago and was decisively beaten by the Nittany Lions. Illinois was a clear favorite at home against Indiana one week ago and lost by 15 to the Hoosiers, who were struggling under head coach Mike Woodson. Ohio State’s recent slump could easily be busted. Other Big Ten teams have gotten healthy when playing Illinois on the road. It’s weird, but it’s a part of a Big Ten landscape in which it is hard to separate the third- and fourth-best teams in the conference from the 11th- and 12th-best teams in the conference. It’s that kind of a year. Only Purdue has separated itself from the rest of the league. Everything else is very fluid, and that can work to Ohio State’s benefit.

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Why Illinois Could Cover the Spread

The Illini have just played a bad game against Indiana. Normally, when Illinois plays a really bad game, it comes back and plays better the next time. This is a very up-and-down team, but part of that up-and-down reality for the Illini and coach Brad Underwood is that ups follow the downs. When this team is coming off a brutal performance, it’s reasonable to think the Illini will improve and get themselves sorted for a week or so … until their next clunker. That’s how this team rolls.

Final Ohio State-Illinois Prediction & Pick

Stay away from this game. Both teams are unreliable.

Final Ohio State-Illinois Prediction & Pick: Ohio State +4.5