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Look for Illinois to pick up a win as an underdog against Ohio State on January 5th 2013

Ohio State vs. Illinois
College Basketball Pick: Illinois +3.5 -110 odds (January 5th 2013)

It is time to start figuring out just how good this Ohio State team really is. They have just two losses on the season (Kansas and Duke) but haven’t looked all that great lately.

Forward Deshawn Thomas is a big time scorer but I am waiting for him to be better. He is averaging 20ppg (an improvement). Ohio State spreads in the early going have been massive as the quality of their opponents has not been all that strong.

The Illini roared out of the gates winning their first 12 games including an impressive win on the road at Gonzaga. But now they have lost two of their last three including their Big Ten opener on the road at Purdue, hardly one of the league’s scarier teams.

If they lose at home to Ohio State they will be 0-2 in the league with a couple of tough games on the immediate horizon. They need this one more than OSU.

In last year’s win Illini guard Brandon Paul went off for 43 points, hitting an amazing 8 for 10 from behind the arc. It was a glimpse of the potential that we have seen more of this year as he has increased his scoring average to 18.5ppg.

In their win against the Zags he had a similar performance with 35 in the upset victory. The Illini are loaded at guard but could stand to receive more production from fellow senior. D.J Richardson, whose numbers have backslid this season.

Though they have been having success the Illini have not been lining pockets. Today that changes. Being an underdog at home will bring out the best of the Illini.

The Illini are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600.

5* Play Illinois +3.5