The #6 overall Wisconsin Badgers (6-0) head to Champaign this weekend for a BIG 10 West showdown against the Illinois Fighting Illini (2-4). Kickoff is set for 12:00 PM EST on October 19th at Memorial Stadium and the game will be televised on the BIG 10 Network.
Taking a look at the Week 8 college football odds, Wisconsin opened as a huge 28.5-point road favorite earlier this week. That spread has increased by over two full points after early betting, as the Badgers are currently listed at -31. The total for the game is sitting at 49.5 points.
Vegas Betting Preview & Game Odds: Illinois vs Wisconsin
Wisconsin remains unbeaten through their first six outings of the season so far, crushing Michigan State 38-0 at home in Week 7 to move to 6-0 overall. The Badgers scored 17 unanswered points in the first half and never looked back, completely shutting out the Spartans offense over the last two quarters of the game as well. QB Jack Coan went 18/21 for 180 yards and one touchdown while Jonathan Taylor led the way on the ground with 80 rushing yards and two touchdowns. Quintez Cephus caught the only passing touchdown for Wisconsin, finding the end zone on one of his two receptions for 28 yards. As a whole, Wisconsin gained over 400 total yards of offense and scored four touchdowns in their blowout victory.
The Badgers defense obviously had a fantastic outing against Michigan State, holding the Spartans offense to just over 150 total yards and not giving up even a single point. Wisconsin was especially strong defending against the run, as they only allowed 30 net rushing yards.
Illinois has now lost four straight games after an impressive 2-0 start to the year, falling 42-25 at home to #16 overall Michigan their last time out to drop to 2-4 on the season overall. The Fighting Illini fell behind 28-7 in the second quarter and never recovered, giving up two more touchdowns over the final 15 minutes of the game en route to a double-digit loss. QB Matthew Robinson went 16/25 for 192 yards and a touchdown through the air while also finding the end zone on a short-distance running play. Dre Brown also scored a touchdown on the ground despite rushing for only 39 yards on eight carries. Josh Imatorbhebhe was definitely the star of the game for the Illinois receiving corps, hauling in five catches for 102 yards and a touchdown against a tough Wolverines secondary. Overall, the offense generated just over 250 total yards and scored three touchdowns.
The Fighting Illini defense had a tough outing against Michigan, giving up almost 500 total yards of offense and six touchdowns. Illinois really struggled to slow down the Wolverines on the ground, as Hassan Haskins and Zach Charbonnet combined for 241 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 30 total carries.
NCAA Football Betting Predictions & Free Pick: OVER 49.5
While Wisconsin should win this game outright with relative ease, I’m not overly enthusiastic about laying 30+ points on the road against a more than capable Illinois offense. The Fighting Illini have now scored at least 25 points in three out of their last four games and also managed to stay within three touchdowns of Michigan when they played last weekend. On the other side, the Badgers have scored at least 35 points in five out of their last six games, which makes me feel pretty confident that they could score almost 40 on their own in this matchup. As such, I’m leaning towards staying away from both teams against the spread in favor of the OVER on 49.5 total points.
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Illinois has also not played particularly well on the defensive side of the ball so far this season, giving up 40+ points in three consecutive games. The total has also gone OVER in 10 out of the Fighting Illini’s last 15 games overall Finally, the OVER has hit in 11 out of Illinois’ last 14 meetings with opponents from the BIG 10. Ultimately, this is shaping up to be an offense-first conference battle that Wisconsin should win quite easily. Despite the fact the Badgers are clearly the better team on both sides of the ball, I’m still refusing to lay 31-points on the road and rolling with the OVER on 49.5 instead.