Illinois Fighting Illini at Rutgers Scarlet Knights: College Football Betting Preview

Jose VasquezArticles, College Football, Football

The Illinois Fighting Illini (-4) are making a trip east to visit their in-conference counterpart Rutgers Scarlet Knights at HighPoint.com Stadium. BTN has the TV rights and the opening kickoff is scheduled for 12:00 p.m. ET.

Betting Preview: Illinois Fighting Illini vs. Rutgers Scarlet Knights

In this Saturday Big Ten game, Illinois is projected as the favorite and is currently giving up 4 points. The Fighting Illini are also receiving -185 moneyline odds while the Scarlet Knights are +165. Vegas has determined the over/under (O/U) to be 50.5 points. There might be some good live betting possibilities for this game.

This game’s O/U hasn’t changed after it was set initially at 50.5. Having said that, the opening line was 1.5 so the sharp action is siding with the Fighting Illini.

The Fighting Illini have gained 1.0 unit this season and are 2-2 against the spread (ATS). They’ve been a good under bet and have posted an O/U record of 1-3.

The Scarlet Knights have lost 2.1 units in 2018. The team is 2-3 ATS and has an O/U record of 2-3.

The Fighting Illini have gone 2-2 straight up (SU), including 0-1 SU against conference opponents. The Scarlet Knights are 1-4 SU overall and 0-2 SU in conference play.

The Fighting Illini are hoping to get back on track after a 63-24 defeat to Penn State on September 21. M.J. Rivers II completed 17-of-28 passes for just 149 yards, along with a TD and an interception. Mike Epstein (73 yards on 13 rushes) and Reggie Corbin (87 yards on 11 carries, one TD) led the running attack in the loss while Carmoni Green (four receptions, 49 yards) and Daniel Barker (three catches, 19 yards) shared the receiving duties.

One week ago, Indiana took care of this Rutgers crew by a score of 24-17. The Scarlet Knights defensive unit allowed the Hoosiers to run for 163 yards on 42 rush attempts, including two rush TDs. Ty Fryfogle put up a good showing in the win, recording 70 yards on five catches for Indiana. For Rutgers, Artur Sitkowski completed 18-of-35 passes for 154 yards, one touchdown and one interception. Jonathan Hilliman (29 yards on nine rush attempts, one TD) and Raheem Blackshear (64 yards on eight carries) spearheaded the ground game in the defeat while Bo Melton (four receptions, 32 yards) and Blackshear (four catches, 22 yards) led the receiving corps.

Illinois has run the ball on 63.4 percent of its offensive possessions this year while Rutgers has an overall rush percentage of 51.0 percent. The Fighting Illini have produced 243.5 rush yards per game and have seven touchdowns via handoffs this year. The Scarlet Knights are logging 130.2 rush yards per game (83.5 in conference) and have six total rushing TDs.

The Fighting Illini offense has tallied 165.5 yards/contest through the air overall and has four passing TDs so far. The Scarlet Knights have recorded 151.0 pass yards per game (129 in the Big 10) and have two total pass scores.

On the defensive side of the ball, Illinois has allowed 212.8 rush yards and 295.0 pass yards per game. The Rutgers defense has given up 228.8 yards per game to opposing passers and 208.8 yards per game on the ground. Both teams allow similar adjusted net yards per pass attempt (ANY/A) to the opposition, as the Fighting Illini have given up an ANY/A of 6.71 to opposing QBs, while the Scarlet Knights are allowing an ANY/A of 7.17.

Rivers II has been more effective than Sitkowski recently, as his adjusted net yards per pass attempt sits at 5.54for the year (and 3.81 over the past two outings). Sitkowski’s ANY/A is 0.81 for the year and 3.20 over his past two outings.

When these two programs met a year ago, Rutgers earned the win 35-24.

Illinois Fighting Illini vs. Rutgers Scarlet Knights Free Pick

SU Winner: Rutgers, ATS Winner: Rutgers, O/U: Over

Team Betting Trends

  • Illinois was the underdog by 28 points in its last game and the Over/Under was 59.5. The over cashed and Illinois failed to cover in the 63-24 loss to Penn State.
  • Illinois, as a team, has rushed for 4.96428571428571 yards per attempt over its past three outings and 4.9 over its last two.
  • Rutgers has averaged 3.9 yards per carry over its last three contests and 3.5 over its last two.
  • Rutgers has lost four fumbles this season while Illinois has let two get away.
  • Over its last three matchups, Illinois is 2-1 ATS and the under cashed in two of those three.
  • Rutgers was getting 15 points in its last game and the O/U was 51.5. The under cashed and Rutgers covered in the 24-17 loss to Indiana.
  • In its last three matches, Rutgers is 1-2 ATS and the over cashed in two of those three.
  • The Fighting Illini offense has recorded two pass plays of 40 yards or more, while the Scarlet Knights have put up zero such plays.
  • The Illinois defense has allowed three pass plays of 40 or more yards, while Rutgers has given up five such plays.
  • The Illinois offense has created 11 rushing plays of 20 or more yards, while Rutgers has created four such runs.
  • The Fighting Illini defense has allowed eight rushing plays of 20+ yards, while the Scarlet Knights have given up 13 such runs.
  • The Illinois defense has sacked opposing QBs seven times this year. Rutgers has registered six sacks.