The California Golden Bears (-6) are coming into the Redbox Bowl as favorites as they prepare to take on the Illinois Fighting Illini. Kickoff for this criticalmatchup is set for 4:00 p.m. ET and FOX is scheduled to broadcast the action.
Betting Preview: California Golden Bears vs. Illinois Fighting Illini
Illinois is playing the role of underdog and is currently getting 6 points in this Monday game. The Golden Bears are also receiving -240 moneyline odds while the Fighting Illini are +190. Oddsmakers have set the over/under (O/U) at 44 points, and if one program can create a bunch of points early on, it will likely generate a worthwhile in-game betting opportunity.
The sharp action is siding with both the Golden Bears and the over. The line initially opened at -4 and the game’s O/U was originally pegged at only 42.5.
Both of these teams have been profitable this year as the Golden Bears have gained 4.6 units while the Fighting Illini are up 2.9 units.
The Golden Bears are 7-5 straight up (SU) in 2019 while the Fighting Illini are 6-6 SU.
Illinois enters this contest on a zero-game winning streak while California has lost zero in a row. The Golden Bears are coming off a 28-18 win over UCLA on November 30 where their secondary allowed the Bruins to air it out for 343 yards. Devin Asiasi had a productive day for the Bruins in that one with 99 yards on eight catches. On the offensive side of the ball, Chase Garbers completed 17-of-29 passes for 230 yards, as well as a score and a pick. Christopher Brown Jr. (111 yards on 18 rush attempts, two TDs) mounted the ground attack. Nikko Remigio (five receptions, 58 yards) and Makai Polk (four catches, 78 yards, one TD) handled the receiving duties in the win.
Illinois just fell 29-10 to Northwestern. The defense allowed the Wildcats to kill the clock by running for 378 yards on 65 rush attempts, including three rush TDs. Andrew Marty had a good outing in the win for Northwestern, accounting for 111 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 30 attempts. As a group, the Fighting Illini collectively completed 11-of-23 passes for 146 yards and one interception. Matt Robinson went eight-for-17 for 108 yards while Isaiah Williams was three-of-six for 38 yards and one interception. Robinson (-11 rushing yards on eight attempts) handled the running game while Caleb Reams (five receptions, 57 yards) and Casey Washington (four catches, 55 yards) led the Illinois pass-catchers in the loss.
Looking at offensive play-calling, each of these teams sports a similar run-pass ratio on the season. California has run the ball on 56.8 percent of its offensive possessions while Illinois has a rush percentage of 58.1. The Golden Bears have rushed for 132.3 yards per game and have 15 scores on the ground this year. The Fighting Illini are totaling 142.4 rushing yards per game and have 18 total rush TDs.
The Golden Bears offense has averaged 190.8 yards in the air overall and has 15 passing scores so far. The Fighting Illini have produced 177 pass yards per game and have 18 total pass TDs.
Defensively, California has let opponents rush for an average of 123.1 yards and throw for 262.4 yards per game. The Illinois D has allowed 208 yards per game to opposing passers and 201.6 yards per game to opposing runners. Both teams allow similar adjusted net yards per pass attempt (ANY/A) to opponents, as the Golden Bears have given up an ANY/A of 6.09 to opposing QBs, while the Fighting Illini are allowing an ANY/A of 6.3.
Garbers likely has the edge over Robinson in this matchup, as his adjusted net yards per pass attempt stands at 6.76for the season and 8.03 over his last two outings. Robinson’s ANY/A is 4.43 for the year and 3.40 over his past two outings.
California Golden Bears vs. Illinois Fighting Illini NCAA Tip
SU Winner: California, ATS Winner: California, O/U: Under
Team Betting Trends
- California, as a team, has produced 4.5 yards per carry over its last three contests and 4.4 over its last two.
- Illinois has averaged 2.6 yards per carry over its last three games and 3.2 over its last two.
- Illinois has lost nine fumbles this season while California has lost four.
- The Golden Bears offense has recorded seven pass plays of 40 or more yards, while the Fighting Illini have accounted for six such plays.
- The California defense has allowed 10 pass plays of 40 yards or more, while Illinois has given up seven such plays.
- The California offense has created 13 rushing plays of 20+ yards, while Illinois has created 17 such runs.
- The Golden Bears defense has allowed 10 rushing plays of 20 or more yards, while the Fighting Illini have given up 23 such runs.
- The California D has 34 sacks on the year while Illinois has just 22.