Illinois vs. Northwestern Prediction
Can No. 19 Northwestern continue to build momentum for next week’s Big Ten Championship and pick up a comfortable win at home over Illinois today at 3:30PM ET?
Game Snapshot & Odds
163 Illinois at 164 Northwestern
Saturday, November 24, 2018
3:30PM ET – Ryan Field
TV: Big Ten Network
Public Betting Trends
According to oddsmakers at BetNow.eu, Northwestern is the favorite at home, as the Wildcats are getting odds of -16.5 points against Illinois. The over/under total is currently listed at 58 points. The public betting currently has 61 percent going on Northwestern at home.
Northwestern staying strong in Big Ten
Northwestern has secured its spot in the Big Ten Championship Game and the Wildcats are coming off a 24-14 win at Minnesota last week. Northwestern is now 7-4 overall and 7-1 in the Big Ten. The Wildcats are 6-3-2 against the spread and 6-5 with the under. Northwestern is 3-0-1 against the spread in its last four games.
The Wildcats are led by their defense, as they are giving up 22.2 points and 367 yards per game. Offensively, Northwestern is putting up 23.6 points and 350 yards per game. Clayton Thorson has thrown for 2,565 yards and 12 touchdowns this year while also throwing for 12 interceptions. Flynn Nagel has 64 catches for 746 yards and two touchdowns while Isaiah Bowser has 570 rushing yards with six touchdowns.
Illinois dominated by Iowa
Illinois is coming off a 63-0 loss against Iowa at home last week for its second straight loss and fifth loss in six games. All five losses were by at least 19 points. Illinois is now 4-7 overall and 2-6 in the Big Ten. The Illini are 4-7 against the spread and 7-4 with the over. Illinois has failed to cover in two straight.
The Illini have been a mess on both sides of the ball hits year. The defense is giving up 40.8 points and 520.8 yards per game. Their rushing defense is allowing 243.8 yards per game. On offense, Illinois averages 26.9 points and 406.3 yards per game. Reggie Corbin has rushed for 1,007 yards and nine touchdowns to lead the offense, but he is questionable to play today due to an ankle injury. AJ Bush Jr. has thrown for 1,132 yards and five touchdowns with nine interceptions while also rushing for 677 yards and eight touchdowns.
College Football Betting Trends
Northwestern is 7-0-1 against the spread in its last eight games in November and 15-5-2 ATS in its last 22 games overall.
Illinois is just 1-5 against the spread in its last six conference games and 0-4 ATS in its last four against a team with a winning record.
Northwestern hasn’t picked up a win by 17 points all year, so giving up that many points is a concern. However, Illinois has been looking awful lately, especially on the road. The Illini look like they have quit after losing 63-0 last week at home to an Iowa team not known for scoring. I expect Northwestern to take the will of Illinois quickly and then cruise to a comfortable win without having to take many risks.
College Football Prediction: Northwestern -16.5