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Illinois vs. Duquesne Odds, Picks, and Predictions

Written by: Bryan Zarpentine
Published March 23, 2024
10 min read
  • Duquesne had the first upset of the NCAA Tournament, knocking off BYU

  • Illinois pulled away from Morehead State after a competitive first half in the first round

  • Duquesne is seeking its first Sweet 16 appearance since 1969 while Illinois hasn’t been to the second weekend since its Final Four run in 2005

After both teams were victorious on Thursday, the Duquesne Dukes and the Illinois Fighting Illini are set to meet in the Round of 32 on Saturday. The Dukes are the no. 11 seed and pulled off an upset over BYU. Meanwhile, Illinois is coming off a win over Morehead State and will be hoping to beat a double-digit seed for the second straight game. This game is shaping up to be an interesting matchup between a top-notch offensive team like Illinois and a hard-nosed defensive-oriented team like Duquesne.

March Madness 2024 Odds Picks Predictions Illinois vs. Duquesne

Sports Betting Promos Illinois vs. Duquesne

Before you can place a bet on Saturday’s Illinois vs. Duquesne game, make sure you check out all of your betting options. Look at the features and bonuses available for March Madness at some of the top sportsbooks. That will help you find a sportsbook that has everything you want before placing your next March Madness bet.

Illinois vs. Duquesne Predictions and Odds

The Texas Tech Red Raiders enter this matchup against a dangerous N.C. State Wolfpack team as five-point favorites. Texas Tech has Moneyline odds of -218 to pull out the win outright and move on to the Round of 32, while the Wolfpack are +180 underdogs to win their sixth consecutive game in a tournament setting. The point total for this matchup hangs at 145.5 points, with the Over (-112) holding a slight advantage over the Under (-108). 

Illinois Prediction

The Fighting Illini should feel confident after Thursday’s win over Morehead State. Despite a close game early, Illinois seized control against the Eagles and won by 16 points, which was enough to cover the spread. After winning the Big Ten Tournament, the Illini have now won five in row, three of those wins coming by double digits. 

With 85 points in the First Round, Illinois lived up to its reputation as one of the nation’s strongest offensive teams. The Illini has four players who average doubles figures, most notably Terrence Shannon Jr., who averages 23 points per game. Shannon had 26 points against Morehead State, giving him at least 25 points in five straight games. In other words, he's playing his best basketball right now and is poised to keep carrying Illinois.

Luckily for Shannon, he has plenty of help around him. Marcus Domask had a triple-double against Morehead State with 12 points, 11 rebounds, and 10 assists. Domask might be the closest the Illini have to a true point guard, so his ability to facilitate will be critical to the Illini staying hot offensively and being able to circumvent the Duquesne defense.

Duquesne Prediction

The Dukes pulled off the first big upset of the tournament by knocking off BYU on Thursday. Duquesne led most of the way but had to hold on late for a close win. That gives the Dukes nine consecutive wins after also winning the Atlantic-10 Tournament. After the win over BYU, the Dukes have four wins over teams in the NCAA Tournament. 

As expected, lead guard Dae Dae Grant led the way with 19 points, which is higher than his season average. His backcourt mate Jimmy Clark III is also key to Duquesne’s hopes. Clark averages over 15 points and 3.8 assists per game. He didn’t have his best game against BYU, scoring just 11 points, so he’ll need to be better in the Round of 32

Keep in mind that Grant and Clark are the only Duquesne players who average more than seven points per game. The Dukes have viable frontcourt players but are somewhat limited. They rely on their defense to carry them at times but need to get contributions from players beyond Grant and Clark. Freshman Jakub Necas was that player on Thursday, but the Dukes may need someone else to step up on Saturday.

Illinois vs. Duquesne Pick

DraftKings currently lists Illinois as a 10-point favorite over Duquesne, which doesn’t show much respect for the Dukes despite their win on Thursday. Granted, Illinois flexed its muscle in the First Round and showed what it can do offensively. But the Dukes figure to be stingy defensively, even if they lack the firepower to keep pace with the Fighting Illini in a high-scoring game. Duquesne is also 8-2 against the spread as an underdog this season. Such a trend is too much to ignore, which is why we advise fans to take Duquesne and the points. Even if Illinois wins, the Illini will have a hard time covering a double-digit spread.

Illinois vs. Duquesne How to Watch

  • Teams: Illinois vs. Duquesne

  • Location: CHI Health Center Omaha, Omaha, Nebraska

  • Date: Saturday, March 23 at 8:40 PM EST

  • TV: TNT

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Bryan Zarpentine

168 Articles

Bryan Zarpentine is a 2008 graduate of Syracuse University and has been working as a freelance writer and editor since 2010. During that time, he has contributed to countless sites while covering baseball, soccer, the NFL, college football, and college basketball.

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