The No. 16 Illinois Fighting Illini host the Syracuse Orange on Tuesday evening. The cross-conference matchup is part of the 2022 ACC-Big Ten Challenge, with State Farm Center showcasing the festivities. Illinois is 5-1 to begin the season, including a win over No. 21 UCLA and the only loss coming to No. 3 Virginia. Syracuse looks to snap a two-game losing streak with a 3-3 overall record.

Caesars Sportsbook lists the Fighting Illini as 12.5-point favorites for this 7:30 p.m. ET tip. The total number of points Vegas thinks will be scored, or the over/under, is 144 in the latest Illinois vs. Syracuse odds. Before making any Syracuse vs. Illinois picks, be sure to see the college basketball predictions and betting advice from SportsLine's proven computer model

The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every Division I college basketball game 10,000 times. Over the past six years, the proprietary computer model has generated an impressive profit of more than $1,500 for $100 players on its top-rated college basketball picks against the spread. 

Now, the model has set its sights on Syracuse vs. Illinois and just locked in its picks and CBB predictions. You can see the pick at SportsLine. Here are the college basketball odds and betting lines for Illinois vs. Syracuse:

  • Illinois vs. Syracuse spread: Illinois -12.5
  • Illinois vs. Syracuse over/under: 144 points
  • Illinois vs. Syracuse money line: Illinois -900, Syracuse +600
  • Illinois: The Illini are 3-2-1 against the spread this season
  • Syracuse: The Orange are 4-2 against the spread this season
  • Illinois vs. Syracuse picks: See picks at SportsLine
Featured Game | Illinois Fighting Illini vs. Syracuse Orange

Why Illinois can cover 

Illinois is excellent on defense under Brad Underwood. The Illini rank in the top 20 of the nation in adjusted defensive efficiency, and opponents are shooting only 42.1% on 2-point attempts against them. Illinois is also above-average in 3-point defense (28.4%), and the Illini create total havoc on the defensive end with a 25.6% turnover rate. Illinois is stout in block rate (12.8%) and steal rate (13.6%), with above-average defensive rebounding to boot. 

Syracuse is below-average in free throw creation this season, and the Orange are only assisting on 44% of field goals, outside the top 300 nationally. On the other end, senior guard Terrence Shannon Jr. leads the way with 20.3 points and 6.2 rebounds per game, and Illinois is in the top ten of the nation in effective field goal percentage (59.5%) and 2-point shooting (62.1%).

Why Syracuse can cover

Syracuse is keyed by the guard tandem of freshman Judah Mintz and senior Joseph Girard III. Each is averaging more than 15 points per game, and the Orange are under control on offense. No team has a lower percentage of shots blocked than Syracuse (2.7%), and the Orange commit a turnover on only 17% of offensive possessions. Syracuse is also above the national average in 2-point accuracy (50.2%) and offensive rebound rate (31.5%). 

On defense, Syracuse is in the top 10 nationally in block rate at 17.9%, and the Orange are in the top 50 of the country in free throw prevention. Opponents are posting a 21.2% turnover rate against Syracuse, and the Orange are giving up only 44.8% shooting inside the arc. Illinois has ball security issues on offense, and the Illini are shooting only 65.3% at the free throw line.

How to make Syracuse vs. Illinois picks

SportsLine's model is leaning Over on the total, projecting 149 combined points. The model also says one side of the spread hits almost 60% of the time. You can see the picks here.

So who wins Illinois vs. Syracuse? And which side of the spread hits almost 60% of the time? Visit SportsLine now to find out which side of the spread you need to jump on, all from the model that has crushed its college basketball picks, and find out.