This Saturday the Nebraska Cornhuskers (1-7) will host the Illinois Fighting Illini (4-5). Kickoff is set for 12:00 EST at Memorial Stadium and will be televised on the Big Ten Network.
Oddsmakers currently have the Cornhuskers listed as a 17-point home favorite with the total set at 68 points. Click here for a full Week 11 betting schedule and for more links to our game previews.
Nebraska vs Illinois Vegas Game Odds & Betting Preview
The Fighting Illini come into this one off an impressive 55-31 win at home over Minnesota as a 9.5-point underdog. Illinois only led 24-17 at the half, but went on a 24-0 run to open the 2nd half and secure the win. It was quite the showing for the Illini offense, which put up 646 total yards, including 430 rushing yards.
Nebraska didn’t get a win this past Saturday, but they put up one heck of a fight on the road against the Buckeyes. The Cornhuskers fell 36-31 as a 17-point underdog at Ohio State. Nebraska had a 21-16 lead at the half, but just couldn’t make enough big plays over the final two quarters to secure the upset win.
The Cornhuskers won last year’s meeting 28-6 as a 6-point road favorite and are 4-1 in the series since joining the Big Ten back in 2013.
Free College Football Betting Predictions & Free Pick: Nebraska -17
My early lean here would be to lay the points with the Cornhuskers. I think a lot of people are going to think that Nebraska won’t show up off that close loss to Ohio State and no longer having a shot at making a bowl game. It’s definitely a possibility, but I got a good feeling this team will continue to play extremely hard over their final 3 games.
Click on the link for more free college football picks from our experts on staff.
It’s safe to say that this season didn’t go as planned for Nebraska fans, who thought new head coach Scott Frost was going to step in and magically make them a title contender. The Cornhuskers shockingly started the season 0-6 before finally breaking through with a 53-28 win over Minnesota. That came on the heels of blowing a game at Northwestern the previous time out.
I just think this team is working towards a larger goal and are motivated to finish the season strong and build up some momentum for next year. They are also going to have the best player on the field Saturday in freshman quarterback Adrian Martinez, who has been every bit as good as advertised.
It just so happens this team started to play better when he finally got comfortable within the offense. He’s been sensational over the last 6 games and just put on quite the show against Ohio State, throwing for 266 yards and a score, while rushing for 72 yards and a touchdown. He’s going to be up against one of the worst defenses in the country, as Illinois enters ranked 123rd against the run (240.3 ypg) and 121st against the pass (284.4 ypg).
I know that Nebraska’s defense hasn’t been great this year and that’s probably a big reason why people aren’t willing to lay the points with them here. As is the case with a lot of bad defensive teams, they tend to make a few more big plays at home. They are only giving up 3.5 yards/carry against the run at home and if they can take away the run game from Illinois, the Fighting Illini will struggle to score.
If Nebraska’s offense has it’s way and the defense gets some stops early, the Cornhuskers can jump out to a big lead. That’s important to note because Illinois is not a team that is built to play from behind. The Fighting Illini rank 114th in the country in passing (166.6 ypg). That makes the backdoor cover a lot less likely. Give me Nebraska -17.