The Illinois Fighting Illini (5-4) head to East Lansing this weekend for a BIG 10 battle with the Michigan State Spartans (4-4). Kickoff is set for 3:30 PM EST on November 9th at Spartan Stadium and the game will be televised on FS1.
Taking a look at the Week 11 college football odds, Michigan State opened as a 13.5-point home favorite earlier this week. The spread has increased by a full point after early betting, as the Spartans are currently available at -14.5. The total for the game is sitting at 45 points.
Vegas Betting Preview & Game Odds: Michigan State vs Illinois
Illinois won their third consecutive game last weekend, beating Rutgers 38-10 at home to get back above the .500 mark on the season. The Fighting Illini scored 21 unanswered points in the third quarter and never looked back, cruising to a double-digit victory. QB Brandon Peters went 6/11 for 120 passing yards and a touchdown through the air while also adding 41 rushing yards on just three carries. RB Reggie Corbin couldn’t get much going on the ground, rumbling for only 3.9 yards per carry on a team-high 13 touches. Josh Imatorbhebhe was on the receiving end of the only passing touchdown of the game for the offense, finding the end zone on one of his three catches for 56 yards. Overall, Illinois gained just over 300 total yards and scored three touchdowns on offense in the win.
The Fighting Illini had a good outing on the other side of the ball against Rutgers, holding the Scarlet Knights to under 300 total yards of offense and just a single touchdown. Illinois was especially strong defending against the pass, allowing only 86 yards through the air while also forcing an interception.
Michigan State lost their third straight game back in Week 9, falling 28-7 at home against #5 overall Penn State. The Spartans gave up 21 unanswered points in the first half and never recovered, scoring just a single touchdown over the final two quarters of the game. QB Brian Lewerke went 16/34 for 165 passing yards and failed to find the end zone through the air while also getting picked off once. Elijah Collins couldn’t find any running room on the ground, rushing for only 53 yards on a team-high 17 carries. Cody White led the way for the receiving corps, hauling in three catches for 66 yards. As a whole, Michigan State generated just over 250 total yards of offense against a rock-solid Nittany Lions defense.
The Spartans were average at best defensively against Penn State, allowing over 300 total yards of offense and four touchdowns. Michigan State got torched downfield by Nittany Lions WR Pat Freiermuth, as scored two touchdowns on a team-high five receptions.
NCAA Football Betting Predictions & Free Pick: Illinois +14.5
I think that the Fighting Illini offer pretty decent value against the spread in this BIG 10 clash, as they should find a way to stay relatively close throughout. Michigan State has really been struggling on offense as of late, scoring just 17 points over their last three games combined. Of course, they were also up against Ohio State, Wisconsin, and Penn State, so their schedule certainly didn’t do them any favors. Still, Illinois has really been solid on both sides of the ball in recent weeks, even pulling off a massive upset win over #16 overall Wisconsin to start their current three game win streak. They also fought hard against #14 overall Michigan back in early October, staying with 11 points of the Wolverines until late in the fourth quarter.
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It is also worth noting that the Fighting Illini have really fared well against the spread as of late, covering the number in five out of their last six outings overall. They are also a very impressive 6-1 against the spread in their last seven meetings with BIG 10 opponents. On the other side, Michigan State is a brutal 1-5 against the spread over their last six games. The Spartans are also just 1-7 against the spread in their last eight conference games as well. I’m going to take a shot with the 14.5 points and the road underdog in this BIG 10 battle on Saturday afternoon – give me Illinois to cover!