The #16 overall Michigan Wolverines (4-1) travel to Champaign this weekend for an important BIG 10 clash against the Illinois Fighting Illinis (2-3). Kickoff is set for 12:00 PM EST on Saturday, October 12th at The University of Illinois – Memorial Stadium and the game will be nationally televised on ABC.
Taking a look at the Week 7 college football odds, Michigan opened as a 19.5-point road favorite earlier this week. That spread has increased by half a point after early betting, as the Wolverines are currently listed at -20. The total for the game is sitting at 54.5 points.
Vegas Betting Preview & Game Odds: Illinois vs Michigan
Michigan won their second consecutive game last weekend, slipping by #17 overall Iowa 10-3 at home to move to 4-1 on the season overall. The Wolverines scored ten unanswered points in the first quarter before letting their defense take control of the game the rest of the way. QB Shea Patterson had a tough outing, going 14/26 for 147 yards while also throwing an interception. RB Zach Charbonnet scored the only touchdown of the game for Michigan, finding the end zone on one of his team-high 13 carries for 42 yards. None of the receiving corps could really get anything going against a very solid Hawkeyes secondary, as Nico Collins gained the most yardage through the air despite recording just three receptions for 63 yards. As a whole, the offense gained 262 total yards and only managed to score a single touchdown in the victory.
The Wolverines defense was dominant in Week 6, holding Iowa to well under 300 total yards of offense and giving up just one field goal all game long. Michigan was especially tough against the run, as the Hawkeyes actually gained negative net yardage on the ground.
Illinois lost their third straight game last weekend, falling 40-17 on the road against Minnesota to drop back below .500 overall on the season. The Fighting Illini trailed by just six points at the half but completely fell apart over teh final two quarters, getting outscored 24-7. QB Matthew Robinson was just 15/29 for 125 passing yards while RB Reggie Corbin led the way on the ground with 14 carries for 68 rushing yards. Trevon Sidney had a decent outing, making five catches for 50 yards but failing to find the end zone. Overall, the Illinois offense generated well under 250 total yards and failed to score even a single touchdown against a tough Golden Gophers defense.
The Fighting Illini certainly weren’t at their best defensively against Minnesota, giving up almost 500 total yards of offense and allowing five touchdowns. Illinois struggled the most defending against the run, getting gashed on the ground for 333 total rushing yards and two touchdowns.
NCAA Football Betting Predictions & Free Pick: Michigan -20
The Wolverines appear to have rebounded nicely after a brutal 35-14 loss to Wisconsin back in Week 4. First, they crushed Rutgers 52-0 two weekend ago before beating a very solid Iowa team last Saturday. On the other side, Illinois has really struggled as of late, as they are now winless since the beginning of September. As long as this spread doesn’t increase too far beyond 20-points, I think Michigan offers some pretty decent value in this particular spot. In fact, the Fighting Illini lost to Minnesota by 23 points back in Week 5, which certainly doesn’t bode well for them heading into a matchup against the #16 overall team in the entire country.
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Michigan has given up just three points combined over their last two games overall. Illinois hasn’t looked good on either side of the ball during their three game losing streak, giving up a whopping 116 total points over their last three outings. The Fighting Illini haven’t fared all that well against the spread lately either, going just 4-8 ATS in their last 12 games. While they may be able to stay within a few touchdowns for a couple of quarters, the Wolverines defense appears to have finally turned things around after a rough start to the season. I’m going to lay the 20 points and roll with the big road favorite in this matchup – give me Michigan to cover!