Two teams that like running the football, Cornhuskers of Nebraska (-18) are set to welcome the Illinois Fighting Illini to Tom Osborne Field at Memorial Stadium. BTN is scheduled to broadcast the action and the opening kickoff for this conference showdown is set for 12:00 p.m. ET. When the two squads met last year, Nebraska knocked Illinois off easily 28-6.
Betting Preview: Illinois Fighting Illini at Nebraska Cornhuskers
Illinois is a live dog and is currently getting 18 points in this Saturday Big 10 game. The Fighting Illini are also receiving +800 moneyline odds while the Cornhuskers are -1450. If one team can get out in front early it would generate a worthwhile live betting scenario. Oddsmakers have set the over/under (O/U) at 68 points.
This game’s opening line was -17, while the total has yet to move since being initially set at 68.
The Fighting Illini have gained 2.9 units so far in 2018 and are 4-5 against the spread (ATS). The team has posted an Over-Under record of 5-4.
The lackluster Cornhuskers have lost 9.8 units this season. The team is 4-4 ATS and has an O/U record of 5-3.
The Fighting Illini are 4-5 straight up (SU), including 2-4 SU against conference opponents. The Cornhuskers are 2-7 SU overall and 1-5 SU in conference play.
The Fighting Illini are on the upswing after a 55-31 victory over Minnesota last week. AJ Bush completed 18 passes on 25 attempts for 216 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. Bush (127 yards on 14 rush attempts, two TDs) also led the ground attack and was complemented by Reggie Corbin (213 yards on 13 carries, two TDs). Dominic Stampley (eight receptions, 65 yards) and Ricky Smalling (four catches, 86 yards, one TD) shared the receiving duties in the win.
Nebraska just lost a 36-31 game to Ohio State. The team’s defense allowed the Buckeyes to kill the clock by rushing for 229 yards on 40 attempts, including three rush TDs. J.K. Dobbins was outstandingfor the Buckeyes, recording 163 rushing yards and three touchdowns on 23 attempts. For Nebraska, Adrian Martinez completed 22-of-33 passes for 266 yards and one touchdown. Martinez (72 rushing yards on 20 attempts, two TDs) and Devine Ozigbo (86 yards on 20 carries, one TD) mounted the running game as Stanley Morgan Jr. (seven receptions, 87 yards) and JD Spielman (six catches, 61 yards, one TD) led the pass-catching attack in the loss.
Illinois has run the ball on 61.1 percent of its offensive plays this year, including 58.9 percent across possessions in conference play. Nebraska has an overall run percentage of 55.4 percent, and has rushed the ball 52.7 percent of the time when playing Big 10 opponents. The Fighting Illini have produced 249.4 rush yards per game (including 252.7 per game against Big Ten opponents) and have 20 touchdowns on the ground this year. The Cornhuskers are logging 216.6 rush yards per game (201.2 in conference) and have 20 total rushing TDs.
The Fighting Illini offense has averaged 166.6 yards through the air overall (167.2 per game versus conference opposition) and has nine passing TDs so far. The Cornhuskers have put up 252.3 pass yards per game (269 in the Big 10) and have 14 total pass scores.
Illinois has let opponents rush for an average of 240.3 yards and pass for 284.4 yards per game. The Nebraska D has given up 269.8 yards per game to opposing passers and 173.0 yards per game on the ground. The Cornhuskers are giving up an adjusted net yards per pass attempt (ANY/A) of only 6.20 to opponents, while the Fighting Illini have allowed a 7.47 ANY/A.
Offensively, Bush has amassed 708 passing yards this year, and has completed 57 percent of his 106 attempts with three passing scores and four interceptions. He’s got a 4.45 adjusted net yards per pass attempt overall, although that number is 9.31 over the past two games.
We expect the Illinois offense to mix it up in this one. Reggie Corbin (797 rushing yards, eight rush TDs on the year), Dominic Stampley (84 receiving yards) and AJ Bush (456 rush yards, five rush TDs, 0 receiving yards) have each played significant roles lately.
Adrian Martinez has completed 143-of-216 passes for 1,709 yards, 10 TDs and five INTs for Nebraska. His ANY/A stands at 6.89 for the season and 8.28 across his past two outings.
As a trio, Devine Ozigbo, Stanley Morgan Jr. and JD Spielman have combined to account for 521 yards from scrimmage and five touchdowns over the last two games.
Illinois Fighting Illini at Nebraska Cornhuskers NCAA Prediction
SU Winner: Nebraska, ATS Winner: Nebraska, O/U: Under
- The Over/Under for Illinois’ previous game was set at 62. The over cashed in the team’s 55-31 triumph over Minnesota.
- Illinois has produced 8.2 yards per carry over its past three contests and 9.5 over its last two.
- Nebraska has averaged 6.3 yards per carry over its last three matchups and only 5.0 over its past two.
- Nebraska has lost eight fumbles this season while Illinois has lost six.
- Over its last three contests, Illinois is 1-2 ATS and the over cashed in each of those three.
- The O/U for Nebraska’s last match was set at 75.5. The under cashed in the 36-31 loss to Ohio State.
- Over its last three matchups, Nebraska is 3-0 ATS and the over cashed in two of those three.
- The Fighting Illini offense has tallied five pass plays of 40 yards or more, while the Cornhuskers have put up six such plays.
- The Illinois defense has allowed 11 pass plays of 40 or more yards, while Nebraska has given up 10 such plays.
- The Illinois offense has created 23 rushing plays of 20 yards or more, while Nebraska has created 26 such runs.
- The Fighting Illini defense has allowed 20 rushing plays of 20 or more yards, while the Cornhuskers have given up 15 such runs.
- The Nebraska D has registered 21 sacks on the year while Illinois has just 15.