The Illinois Fighting Illini (3-4) travel to West Lafayette this weekend for a BIG 10 showdown against the Purdue Boilermakers (2-5). Kickoff is set for 12:00 PM EST on October 26th at Ross Ade Stadium and the game will be televised on the BIG 10 Network.
Taking a look at the Week 9 college football odds, Purdue opened as a 8-point home favorite earlier this week. That spread has increased by half a point after early betting, as the Boilermakers are currently listed at -8.5. The total for the game is sitting at 58.5 points.
Vegas Betting Preview & Game Odds: Purdue vs Illinois
Illinois snapped a four game losing streak last weekend, stunning #13 overall Wisconsin 24-23 at home to move to 3-4 on the season overall. The Fighting Illini trailed 20-14 heading into the fourth quarter but outscored the Badgers 10-3 over the final 15 minutes to pull off the massive upset. QB Brandon Peters went 9/21 for 174 passing yards and two touchdowns through the air while RB Reggie Corbin rushed for 83 yards and a touchdown on the ground. The receiving duo of Donny Navarro and Josh Imatorbhebhe also had a good game, combining for 90 yards and two touchdowns on just three catches. As a whole, Illinois gained over 300 total yards of offense and scored three touchdowns against a very solid Badgers defense.
The Fighting Illini had a decent outing on the other side of the ball against Wisconsin, giving up just over 400 total yards of offense and two touchdowns. However, Illinois did have a hard time slowing down RB Jonathan Taylor on the ground, as Taylor racked up 132 rushing yards and a touchdown on 28 carries.
Purdue has now lost four out of their last five games after a tough 26-20 road loss last weekend against #20 overall Iowa. The Boilermakers trailed 16-7 in the third quarter and couldn’t pull off the comeback down the stretch despite outscoring Iowa 13-10 over the final 15 minutes. QB Jack Plummer went 30/50 for 327 yards and two touchdowns through the air but the ground attack hardly contributed at all, as Purdue gained just 33 net rushing yards all game. David Bell certainly made up for the lack of production on the ground, exploding for 197 receiving yards and a touchdown on 13 catches. Overall, the offense generated over 350 total yards and scored two touchdowns despite coming up just short on the scoreboard.
The Boilermakers were fairly average defensively against Iowa, giving up over 350 total yards of offense and two touchdowns. Purdue did do a pretty decent job slowing down Hawkeyes QB Nathan Stanley through the air, as Stanley failed to throw a single passing touchdown and also got picked off once.
NCAA Football Betting Predictions & Free Pick: OVER 58.5
I’m not really seeing a ton of value with either of these teams against the spread here in Week 9, as this is shaping up to be a pretty decent matchup that Purdue should be able to win outright at home. However, Illinois really looked strong last weekend in their upset of Wisconsin, so I’m slightly tempted to take the 8.5 points and roll with the road underdog. Even so, it’s important to avoid overreacting to just one solid game. Even with the big win last weekend, the Fighting Illini are still one game under the .500 mark so far this season. Ultimately, I think the best play from this BIG 10 West clash is likely the OVER on 58.5 total points scored. The Boilermakers have scored 30+ points in four out of seven games so far this year while Illinois has given up 40+ points three times in their last four games overall.
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It is also important to note that Purdue has been involved in high scoring games at home as of late, as the total has gone OVER in three out of their last four outings at Ross Ade Stadium. Again, I would probably rather take a stab with Illinois and the points in this particular spot but just can’t pull the trigger due to their significant struggles on the road through the first eight weeks of the season. In fact, the Fighting Illini have yet to cover on the road at all so far this year. I’ll avoid both teams against the spread on Saturday afternoon in favor of the OVER on 58.5 points.