No love for Illinois heading into the weekend?
The Illini are coming off a massive upset victory on the road against Penn State while Rutgers is returning from a bye week after four ugly Big Ten games to begin the conference schedule. This has not impacted the odds much as Rutgers currently sits as a 1.5-point favorite against Illinois heading into the game, according to BetOnline. Illinois opened on Sunday as a 2-point favorite but the money being wagered has flipped the line.
The Scarlet Knights will be on the road this weekend but are still favorites and can be taken on the money line at -123. Illinois is currently +103 while the total is set at 42.
There are clear trends on Rutgers this season. After covering the first four games of the season, Rutgers is 0-3 ATS over their last three games. They have also hit four under in seven games, including the last two, because of the inability to score. Rutgers is averaging just 10 points per game in Big Ten play. If they score 10 points against Illinois, it will be another long afternoon for the Scarlet Knights.
As for Illinois, it seems as though the oddsmakers and the gamblers are counting on a letdown game after taking down the Nittany Lions. It took nine overtimes, in what is a terrible college OT system, for Illinois to convert a two-point conversation to beat Penn State. The defense allowed just 18 points and this is a victory that will make a season.
The question is, will Illinois have some juice heading into this game against Rutgers or will they actually letdown on its home field?
Illinois has covered three of its last five games with the exception being a 10-point victory over Charlotte as a push as a 24-0 beating at the hands of Wisconsin. On the total, Illinois’ last six games have gone under and that is a trend to believe in.
Neither Illinois or Rutgers has a history of lighting up the scoreboard. Both teams have questions at quarterback but Illinois more so in starter Art Sitkowski now being out for the year. Expect Brandon Peters to start while Noah Vedral is expected to start for Rutgers once again. Both teams struggle offensively and have defenses with the capability of causing havoc. Will it happen? That is yet to be seen but a low-scoring game seems pretty likely.
When betting this game, it will be difficult to pick a side. Rutgers cannot be trusted right now and Illinois is coming off a huge victory. If you believe the Illini will take control at home, that is the play. With that being said, the safest bet in this game is the under with how both offenses have been playing.
This is a winnable game for both sides and one that neither can afford to lose. Kickoff is set for Noon ET on Saturday on BTN.