College Football Free Pick – Purdue Boilermakers at Illinois Fighting Illini

Jose VasquezArticles, College Football, Football

The Fighting Illini of Illinois (+10) are gearing up to welcome their conference foe Purdue Boilermakers (-10) to Memorial Stadium. The opening kickoff for this showdown is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. ET and FS1 will televise the action.

Betting Preview: Illinois Fighting Illini vs. Purdue Boilermakers

Illinois is getting picked to play the role of underdog and is currently getting 10 points in this Saturday Big 10 game. In order to take the favorite, moneyline bettors would currently need to wager $400 to win $100 back on the Boilermakers (-400). The Fighting Illini are getting +300 moneyline odds. If one side can find paydirt early, it will likely generate a worthwhile in-game betting opportunity.

The less-than-stellar Boilermakers are down 7.7 units so far and 3-2 against the spread (ATS). The team’s posted an O/U record of 3-2.

The Fighting Illini have gained 2.0 units for moneyline bettors this season. They’re 3-2 ATS and have an O/U record of 2-3.

The Boilermakers have gone 2-3 straight up (SU), including 1-1 SU against conference opponents. The Fighting Illini are 3-2 SU overall and 1-1 SU in conference play.

The Boilermakers are coming off a resounding 42-28 win over Nebraska on September 29 where David Blough completed 25 passes for 328 yards and one touchdown. D.J. Knox (87 yards on 15 rush attempts, two TDs) and Markell Jones (59 yards on 14 carries, one TD) led the ground attack in the win while Rondale Moore (eight receptions, 85 yards) and Brycen Hopkins (five catches, 103 yards, one TD) handled the receiving duties.

Illinois takes the field on Saturday having just earned a 38-17 win over Rutgers. The team’s defensive unit allowed the Scarlet Knights to rush for 119 yards on 30 attempts, along with one rushing TD. Jonathan Hilliman was a bright spot in the loss for Rutgers, accounting for 76 rushing yards and a score on 10 attempts. For Illinois, AJ Bush completed 10-of-18 passes for 89 yards and one touchdown. Bush (116 rushing yards on 18 attempts, two TDs) and Reggie Corbin (137 yards on 11 carries, one TD) mounted the ground game in the win while Trenard Davis (five receptions, 59 yards) and Ricky Smalling (two catches, 17 yards, one TD) led the pass-catching corps.

Purdue has run the ball on 45.2 percent of its offensive possessions this year while Illinois has a rush percentage of 64.4 percent. The Boilermakers have produced 169.8 rush yards/game (including 195.0 per game versus Big Ten opponents) and have nine scores via handoffs this year. The Fighting Illini are logging 260.8 rushing yards per game (287.5 in conference) and have 11 total rush TDs.

If the numbers so far this season can translate to this game, then it’s looking like the Boilermakers could hold an edge when it comes to quarterback protection, as their offensive line has given up only 33 sacks while the D-line logged 29 sacks. The Fighting Illini O-line has allowed 42 sacks and their defense has created only 19 sacks.

The Boilermakers offensive scheme has tallied 320.2 yards per game through the air overall (299.0 per game against conference opposition) and has nine passing scores so far. The Fighting Illini have produced 150.2 pass yards per contest (128 against Big 10 competition) and have five total pass TDs.

Defensively, Purdue has let opponents run for an average of 162.4 yards and pass for 284.8 yards per game. The Illinois defense has allowed 289.4 yards per game to opposing passers and 194.0 yards per game to opposing runners. Both teams allow similar adjusted net yards per pass attempt (ANY/A) to the opposition, as the Boilermakers have given up an ANY/A of 5.91 to opposing QBs, while the Fighting Illini are yielding an ANY/A of 5.91.

Offensively, Blough has put up 1,022 passing yards this year, and has connected on 67 percent of his 123 attempts with four passing scores and one interception. Blough’s got a sparkling 8.29 adjusted net yards per pass attempt, including 8.72 over the last two games.

Rondale Moore (347 receiving yards, two receiving touchdowns on the year), D.J. Knox (339 rush yards, four rush TDs) and Isaac Zico (188 receiving yards) have each played big roles lately.

On the other sideline, M.J. Rivers II has completed 46-of-73 passes for 422 yards, three TDs and one INT. Rivers II’s ANY/A stands at an ultra-pedestrian 4.86 for the year and 3.67 across his last two outings.

We’re looking for the Fighting Illini to control the game’s clock by feeding the ball-carriers early and often. AJ Bush (zero receiving yards this season) has stepped up lately, but Reggie Corbin (377 rush yards, four rush TDs) and Mike Epstein (314 rush yards, three rush TDs) have been significant factors in the Illinois offense.

These two schools faced off a year ago with the final result being a 29-10 win for Purdue.

Purdue Boilermakers at Illinois Fighting Illini Free NCAA Betting Tip

SU Winner: Purdue, ATS Winner: Purdue

Team Betting Trends

  • The Boilermakers offense has produced eight pass plays of 40 or more yards, while the Fighting Illini have accounted for two such plays.
  • The Purdue defense has allowed four pass plays of 40 or more yards, while Illinois has given up three such plays.
  • The Purdue offense has created 10 rushing plays of 20 yards or more, while Illinois has created 15 such runs.
  • The Boilermakers defense has allowed seven rushing plays of 20 or more yards, while the Fighting Illini have given up nine such runs.
  • The Purdue D has 13 sacks on the year while Illinois has just seven.
  • Purdue, as a team, has averaged 3.25531914893617 yards per carry over its last three contests and 3.4 over its last two.
  • Illinois has averaged 5.8 yards per carry over its last three matchups and 6.5 over its last two.
  • In its last three games, Illinois is 2-1 ATS and the over cashed in two of those three.
  • Purdue was the underdog by 4 points in its last game and the Over/Under was set at 58. The over cashed and Purdue covered in the 42-28 victory over Nebraska.
  • Over its last three games, Purdue is 3-0 ATS and the over cashed in two of those three.
  • Illinois was getting 5 points in its previous matchup and the Over/Under was 51. The over cashed and Illinois covered in the 38-17 win over Rutgers.