Illinois vs. Wisconsin Week 8 Prediction
The Big Ten kicks off its season on Friday night when the Illinois Fighting Illini travel to Madison, Wisconsin to take on the Badgers at 8:00 p.m. ET. Listed currently as a 19.5-point home favorite, are the Badgers laying too many points to their conference foes?
387 Illinois Fighting Illini (+19.5) at 388 Wisconsin Badgers (-19.5); o/u 51.5
Camp Randall Stadium, Madison, WI
8:00 p.m. ET, Friday, October 23, 2020
TV: Big Ten Network
Illinois Fighting Illini Game Notes
Illinois redshirt sophomore WR Khamari Thompson has moved from wide receiver to cornerback. Thompson (6'1/210) transferred from Missouri back in July and has now shifted over to the defensive side of the ball. The Lawrenceville, GA product did not record a catch over his Missouri career and since he was a recruit from former HC Odom, had no allegiance from new HC Scott Satterfield. His move to the secondary was due to a lack of depth at the position heading into the season.
Wisconsin Badgers Game Notes
Wisconsin redshirt freshman QB Graham Mertz has been named the team's starting quarterback for their October 24 season opener against Illinois. Mertz (6'3/215) was expected to challenge for the starting job this season anyway, but when incumbent starter Jack Coan suffered a non-contact foot injury in an early October practice that required surgery, the announcement was just a formality. The redshirt freshman, appeared in two games last season completing 9-of-10 passes for 73 yards. If there's a silver lining in the cloud that is Coan's injury, it's that Mertz had ample time to prepare for the Badgers’ season opener.
Illinois vs. Wisconsin Betting Prediction
The over is 4-0 in the last four meetings between these two teams in Madison and is a perfect 5-0 in the Badgers’ last five games when favored. The over is also 5-1 in Wisconsin’s last six games dating back to last season, is 4-1 in its last five conference matchups and has cashed in four of the Badgers’ last five games played on fieldturf. Seeing as how this is the opener for both teams, I don’t want to lay nearly three touchdowns with Wisconsin, yet I don’t trust an Illinois team that is 1-4 ATS in its last five trips to Madison. Thus, I see more value in the total. Sit back, enjoy the action and (hopefully) let’s watch as the points roll in.
COLLEGE FOOTBALL WEEK 8 BETTING PREDICTION: ILLINOIS/WISCONSIN OVER 51.5