The Northwestern Wildcats (+10) aren’t traveling far to face their conference foe Illinois Fighting Illini at Memorial Stadium. The opening kickoff for this matchup is scheduled for 12:00 p.m. ET and spectators can view the action live on FS1.
Betting Preview: Northwestern Wildcats vs. Illinois Fighting Illini
In this Saturday Big Ten game, Illinois is tabbed as the big favorite and is currently giving up 10 points. In order to take the home favorite, moneyline gamblers would currently need to put up $400 to win $100 back on the Fighting Illini (-400). The Wildcats are getting +300 moneyline odds. This Big 10 tilt should provide several decent live betting possibilities, and Vegas has set the over/under (O/U) at 44 points.
This game’s opening line was -11, while the O/U has yet to move since being initially posted at 44.
The less-than-stellar Wildcats have lost 6.0 units so far and are 3-7-1 against the spread (ATS). They’ve been a good under bet and have posted an Over-Under record of 4-7.
The Fighting Illini have been a nice surprise for moneyline bettors this season, gaining 5.2 units. They’re 8-3 ATS and also own an O/U record of 4-7.
The Wildcats are 2-9 straight up (SU), including 0-8 SU against Big 10 opponents. The Fighting Illini are 6-5 SU overall and 4-4 SU in conference play.
The Wildcats lost to Minnesota 38-22 in a matchup where their defense allowed the Golden Gophers to run for 212 yards on 39 rush attempts, along with one rushing TD. Tyler Johnson had a good day for the opposition in that one with 125 yards and a score on seven catches. On the offensive side of the ball, Andrew Marty completed eight passes on 10 attempts for just 95 yards and one touchdown. Marty (52 yards on 16 rush attempts, two TDs) also led the ground attack and was complemented by Evan Hull (51 yards on 14 carries) in the loss. Riley Lees (three receptions, 53 yards) and Malik Washington (one catch, 11 yards) handled the receiving duties.
Illinois just fell 19-10 to Iowa. The defensive secondary let the Hawkeyes air it out for 308 yards. Ihmir Smith-Marsette put up a solid showing in the win for Iowa, recording 121 yards on four catches. For Illinois, Brandon Peters completed 16-of-31 passes for 125 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions. Dre Brown (67 yards on 14 rush attempts) and the signal-caller Peters (76 yards on 10 carries) led the ground game in the defeat while Josh Imatorbhebhe (four receptions, 36 yards) and Justice Williams (four catches, 24 yards) led the pass-catching attack.
Northwestern has run the ball on 60.6 percent of its offensive possessions this year while Illinois has a rush percentage of 58.4 percent. The Wildcats have rushed for 162.1 yards per game (including 135 per game versus Big Ten opponents) and have 14 touchdowns via handoffs this year. The Fighting Illini are averaging 154.1 rushing yards per game (148.9 in conference) and have 17 total rush TDs.
The Wildcats offensive scheme has averaged 122.6 yards through the air overall (123.9 per game versus conference opposition) and has five passing TDs so far. The Fighting Illini have put up 179.8 pass yards per game (158 in the Big 10) and have 18 total pass scores.
Defensively, Northwestern appears to have the upper hand in both phases. The team has allowed 148.1 rush yards and 203.5 pass yards per game. The Illinois defense has allowed 221.9 yards per game to opposing passers and 185.5 yards per game on the ground. Both teams allow similar adjusted net yards per pass attempt (ANY/A) to the opposition, as the Wildcats have given up an ANY/A of 6.16 to opposing QBs, while the Fighting Illini are yielding an ANY/A of 6.4.
Offensively, Marty has amassed 95 passing yards this year. The signal-caller has connected on 8-of-12 attempts with one passing scores and one interception. He has a 5.83 adjusted net yards per pass attempt overall, although that number sits at 11.50 over the last two games.
For the home team, Brandon Peters has managed to complete 108-of-196 passes for 1,242 yards, 14 TDs and six INTs. Peters’ ANY/A stands at 5.11 for the season and 5.34 across his past two outings.
These two teams met last year with the final outcome being a 24-16 win for Northwestern.
Northwestern Wildcats at Illinois Fighting Illini Betting Pick
SU Winner: Northwestern, ATS Winner: Northwestern, O/U: Under
Team Betting Notes
- The Over/Under for Northwestern’s previous game was set at 42. The over cashed in the team’s 38-22 loss to Minnesota.
- As a team, Northwestern has rushed for 4.9 yards per attempt across its last three games and 4.6 over its last two.
- Illinois has averaged 3.9 yards per carry over its last three outings and only 3.5 over its past two.
- The Illinois offense has lost eight fumbles this season while Northwestern has let nine get away.
- Over its last three matchups, Northwestern is 1-1-1 ATS and the over cashed in two of those three.
- The O/U for Illinois’ previous match was set at 48. The under cashed in the 19-10 loss to Iowa.
- Over its last three contests, Illinois is 3-0 ATS and the under cashed in two of those three.
- The Wildcats offense has tallied two pass plays of 40 or more yards, while the Fighting Illini have put up six such plays.
- The Northwestern defense has allowed four pass plays of 40 or more yards, while Illinois has given up seven such plays.
- The Northwestern offense has created 10 rushing plays of 20 or more yards, while Illinois has created 17 such runs.
- The Wildcats defense has allowed 11 rushing plays of 20+ yards, while the Fighting Illini have given up 20 such runs.
- The Illinois defense has sacked opposing QBs 22 times this year. Northwestern has registered 21 sacks.