The Rutgers Scarlet Knights (2-6) head to Champaign this weekend for a BIG 10 battle with the Illinois Fighting Illini (4-4). Kickoff is set for 3:30 PM EST on November 2nd at University of Illinois Memorial Stadium and the game will be televised on the BIG 10 Network.

Taking a look at the Week 10 college football odds, Illinois opened as a 20.5-point home favorite earlier this week. That spread hasn’t moved at all after early betting, as the Fighting Illini are currently available at -20.5. The total for the game is sitting at 49 points.

Vegas Betting Preview & Game Odds: Illinois vs Rutgers

Rutgers finally snapped their six-game losing streak last weekend, beating Liberty 44-34 at home to improve to 2-6 on the season overall. The Scarlet Knights outscored the Flames 17-3 in the third quarter to break the game wide open en route to a double-digit victory. QB Johnny Langan went 15/21 for 192 yards and two touchdowns through the air while also racking up 118 rushing yards and a score on the ground. RB Isaih Pacheco also had a multi-touchdown game, finding the end zone twice on two of his 19 carries for 107 yards. WR Isaiah Washington led the way for the receiving corps, hauling in four catches for 89 yards and a touchdowns. Overall, Rutgers gained well over 450 yards of total offense and scored five touchdowns in the win.

The Scarlet Knights didn’t have a very good outing on the other side of the ball against Liberty, surrendering over 400 total yards of offense and giving up four touchdowns. Rutgers had no answer for Flames RB Joshua Mack, as he rumbled for 109 yards and two touchdowns on only 11 carries.

Illinois won their second straight game last weekend, stunning Purdue 24-6 on the road despite being an almost double-digit underdog. The Fighting Illini scored 17 unanswered points in the first half and never looked back, cruising to their fourth win of the season over the final two quarters of the game. QB Brandon Peters didn’t do much through the air, going just 3/6 for 26 passing yards. Peters also only averaged 1.4 yards per carry on the ground but did find the end zone on a short-yardage rushing play. Reggie Corbin scored the only other offensive touchdown of the game for Illinois on one of his 12 carries for 47 yards. As a whole, the offense generated just over 250 totalĀ  yards and scored two touchdowns on the afternoon.

The Fighting Illini were fantastic defensively against Purdue, holding the Boilermakers scoreless until the fourth quarter. Illinois was especially strong defending against the pass, as no Purdue receiver totaled more than 51 receiving yards or made more than five catches.

NCAA Football Betting Predictions & Free Pick: Illinois -20.5

Even though I’m certainly not seeing a ton of value with either side against the spread in this BIG 10 clash, I’m still leaning slightly towards taking Illinois at home here in Week 10. Rutgers has really struggled on both sides of the ball this year, especially defensively where they have given up at least 34 points in five straight games. The Scarlet Knights also really haven’t been able to find a whole lot of success on offense either, scoring only 14 total points combined over the four outings prior to their 44-point outburst against a weak Liberty squad last weekend. Illinois has been much more consistent, hanging tough against Michigan and Minnesota before shocking #18 overall Wisconsin back in Week 8.

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It is also important to note that the Fighting Illini have excelled against the spread when facing Rutgers as of late, covering the number in two out of their last three meetings. Illinois is also a rock-solid 4-1 against the spread over their last five games overall and 4-1 ATS in their last five home games. On the other side, the Scarlet Knights are a brutal 1-6 against the spread over their last seven games and 0-5 ATS in their last five matchups with BIG 10 opponents. I’ll lay the 20.5 points and roll with the heavy home favorite on Saturday afternoon – give me the Fighting Illini to cover!