Illinois vs. Notre Dame Prediction: Will Illinois Help Give the Big Ten a Boost in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge?

Illinois Fighting Illini vs. Notre Dame Fighting Irish prediction and pick for Monday's college basketball matchup. Jason Radowitz gives his pick for tonight's showdown.
Jason Radowitz |
Mon, November 29, 11:51 AM EST | 4 min read
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Illinois vs. Notre Dame Prediction: Will Illinois Help Give the Big Ten a Boost in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge?

The Illinois Fighting Illini haven’t played their best basketball since big man Kofi Cockburn returned to the hardwood. However, Illinois hopes that changes as it welcomes the Notre Dame Fighting Irish to State Farm Center for the Big Ten/ACC Challenge. The Fighting Illini are 4-2 on the year with losses to Marquette and Cincinnati. However, since those two losses, Illinois has defeated Kansas State and UT Rio Grande Valley. Even with those two wins, critics and the media aren’t convinced by Illinois’ play recently. So tonight would be a great night to prove themselves against Notre Dame.

On the other hand, the Fighting Irish are 3-2 on the year with key losses to Saint Mary’s and Texas A&M. To start the season, Notre Dame played two home games and three neutral games. This will be the first road test for Notre Dame on the season. Can Illinois finally prove doubters wrong and find success against Notre Dame? Here are our picks and predictions for the Big Ten/ACC Challenge between Notre Dame and Illinois.

Illinois vs. Notre Dame Start Time, Where to Watch, and Odds

Date: Saturday, November 29, 2021Game Time: 9:00 p.m. ETWhere To Watch: ESPN2

Click Here For Illinois vs Notre Dame Odds

Illinois vs. Notre Dame Injury Report

Notre Dame: Out: G Robby Carmody (Knee)

Illinois: Questionable: G Andre Curbelo (Undisclosed), G Trant Frazier (Leg), G Jacob Grandison (Illness) Out: Benjamin Bosmans-Verdonk (Undisclosed)

Illinois vs. Notre Dame Prediction

The Illinois Fighting Illini haven’t been playing their best basketball. But their best basketball should be on the horizon shortly. The team currently has three guards questionable for this game. Once everyone is healthy, things will start to click for Illinois.

On offense, the Fighting Illini are giving up 24.2 percent of turnovers while grabbing 40.8 percent of offensive rebounds. The reality is, Illinois isn’t taking enough shots per game due to all of the additional turnovers it has allowed. With Illinois dominating the offensive glass, the Fighting Illini should want to get up as many shots as possible. Leaving possessions without getting a shot up is the worst thing you can do when you’re grabbing offensive rebounds over 40 percent of the time.

Meanwhile, Notre Dame has been of the best teams in the nation regarding limiting offensive rebounds. The Fighting Irish are allowing just 18.8 percent of offensive rebounds but 45.6 percent from long range this season. Hearing those numbers, Illinois will definitely want to get as many three-point shots up as possible and limit the turnovers.

On offense, Notre Dame is shooting just 28.4 percent from long range and has struggled to earn offensive rebounds. It’s odd for a team to do so well on the defensive glass and so poor on the offensive glass, but so far, Notre Dame has done just that. When shooting 28.4 percent from long range, it’s not good knowing Notre Dame won’t be able to get many second chances off all of those misses. In addition, Notre Dame is shooting an effective field goal percentage of 47.2 percent, which is also in the bottom half of college basketball.

I like Illinois to dominate Notre Dame in this matchup and believe -6.5 is too low. I’ve got Illinois by double digits.

Illinois vs. Notre Dame Pick

  • Illinois -6.5 (-115)
Jason Radowitz
@Jason_Radowitz

Jason grew up an avid sports fan. His passion for sports writing grew in high school and he developed a blog that was strictly for New York Sports. From his work, you will quickly realize that he loves looking at games from an analytical and numbers perspective and hopes to provide you with that same perspective in his articles.

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