Illinois vs. Ohio State Pick
According to oddsmakers at Bovada.lv, Ohio State is favored at home, as the Buckeyes are getting odds of -41 points against Illinois. The over/under total for the contest has been set at 54 points. Ohio State has won eight straight meetings with Illinois and the two have hit the over in three of their last four encounters. The public is currently putting 57 percent of the wagers on Ohio State at home. Saturday’s game takes place from Ohio Stadium in Columbus, Ohio and will air live on ABC.
Illinois is coming off a 24-14 loss to Indiana at home for its 8th straight loss. Illinois is now 2-8 on the season and 0-7 in the Big Ten. The Illini are 7-3 with the under this season, hitting it in four straight games. Illinois has struggled on offense this season, posting just 16.4 points and 302.1 yards per game. Jeff George Jr. has thrown for 1,273 yards and seven touchdowns, but also has 10 interceptions. Leading rusher Mike Epstein is out for the rest of the season after rushing for 346 yards and three scores. Ricky Smalling is the leading receiver with 28 catches for 488 yards and two scores. Defensively, Illinois is giving up 28.4 points and 403 yards per game.
Ohio State is coming off a 48-3 thrashing of Michigan State at home last week to improve to 8-2 on the season and 6-1 in the Big Ten. The Buckeyes are 7-3 with the over this season, hitting it in six of their last seven games. The Buckeyes have one of the top offenses in the nation, posting 44.2 points and 546.5 yards per game. J.T. Barrett has thrown for 2,557 yards and 30 touchdowns while rushing for 572 yards and seven scores. J.K. Dobbins is the leading rusher with 1,038 yards and five scores. Three different receivers have over 400 yards. Johnnie Dixon has caught eight touchdowns passes. Defensively, Ohio State is allowing just 20.4 points and 310.2 yards per contest.
Ohio State’s offense shouldn’t have any problem moving the ball against Illinois at home. The Buckeyes have scored at least 39 points in every home conference game. I think Ohio State may be able to get to the total on its own. If it doesn’t I still think Illinois can manage some garbage points to hit the over. Despite its poor play, Illinois still has scored at least 10 points in all but one game.
COLLEGE FOOTBALL PREDICTION: ILLINOIS/OHIO STATE OVER 54