Illinois vs. Morehead State odds, score prediction, start time: 2024 NCAA Tournament picks by proven model

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The Morehead State Eagles seek their first NCAA Tournament victory in 13 years when they face the Illinois Fighting Illini in the first round of the 2024 NCAA Tournament. The No. 13-seeded Eagles (26-8) had the same seeding when they pulled off a memorable upset of Louisville in 2011 but have been back just once since, a first-round loss to West Virginia in 2021. The No. 3-seeded Fighting Illini (26-8) hope to advance to the second round for the fifth time in the past six seasons.

Tipoff is set for 3:10 p.m. ET from the CHI Health Center in Omaha, Neb. The Illini are 10.5-point favorites and the over/under for total points scored is 146 in the latest Morehead State vs. Illinois odds via SportsLine consensus. Before making any Illinois vs. Morehead State picks, be sure to see the college basketball predictions and betting advice from SportsLine’s proven computer model. 

The model simulates every Division I college basketball game 10,000 times. It enters the 2024 NCAA tournament on a 148-106 roll on all top-rated college basketball picks dating back to last season, returning more than $1,700 for $100 players. It also has a strong 29-19 (+810) record on top-rated spread picks this season. Anyone following has seen huge returns.

Now, the model has set its sights on Illinois vs. Morehead State. You can head to SportsLine now to see the picks. Here are several college basketball odds and trends for Morehead State vs. Illinois:

  • Illinois vs. Morehead State spread: Illinois -10.5
  • Illinois vs. Morehead State over/under: 146
  • Illinois vs. Morehead State money line: Illinois -674, Morehead State +481
  • MHS: The Eagles are 11-2 against the spread when playing with four or more days of rest.
  • ILL: The Illini are 4-1 ATS in neutral site games this season.
  • Illinois vs. Morehead State picks: See picks at SportsLine

Why Illinois can cover 

The Fighting Illini feature a lethal mix of experience and efficiency on both ends of the court, a combination they hope will carry them past the second round of the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2005. Last year, they fell 73-63 to Arkansas in the first round. This year’s club has the highest ceiling of any in the program’s seven years under coach Brad Underwood, and they showed their mettle Sunday in outlasting a prepared Wisconsin club that matched them blow for blow most of the way.

The game was tied 82-82 with 3:32 left before Illinois closed out the win by making all the key plays down the stretch, which included numerous offensive rebounds to keep possessions alive, a couple of steals and clutch free-throw shooting. Terrence Shannon Jr. had eight points and two steals down the stretch, while also grabbing the defensive rebound that sealed the outcome. He finished with 34 points and four rebounds while Marcus Domask, who had 26 points, made 9-of-10 free throws to help close the win. See which team to pick at SportsLine.

Why Morehead State can cover

Proven leadership and experience are essential attributes for success in the NCAA Tournament, and Morehead State’s top two players are among the most seasoned in the 64-team field. Senior guard Drew Thelwell has been part of all of the program’s 94 wins since he joined the Eagles in 2020, a program record, and he also set the all-time Morehead State mark for assists this season. What’s more, leading scorer and rebounder Riley Minix (20.8 ppg, 9.8 rpg) has emerged as one of the most impactful transfers in college basketball this season.

Minix was named the Ohio Valley Conference Player of the Year in his lone season at the Division I level. He joined Morehead State after authoring one of the more decorated NAIA careers in recent memory at Southeastern University in Florida, where he led the club to three playoff berths while earning numerous individual accolades. See which team to pick at SportsLine. 

How to make Morehead State vs. Illinois picks

The model is leaning Over on the total, projecting 148 combined points. It also says one side of the spread hits well over 60% of the time. You can only see the pick at SportsLine.

So who wins Illinois vs. Morehead State, and which side of the spread hits well over 60% of the time? Visit SportsLine right now to see which side of the spread you need to jump on, all from the computer model that is 29-19 on top-rated college basketball spread picks this season.

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