It’s a Big Ten vs. ACC showdown when the Illinois Fighting Illini face the Virginia Cavaliers. This is the first game on the road for Illinois, and it’ll be interesting to see how it performs. Virginia gets to play host in a game it hopes to dominate on Saturday afternoon.
|Game: Illinois Fighting Illini (1-1) at Virginia Cavaliers (1-0)
Location: Scott Stadium
TIme: 11:00 a.m. ET
|Team||Point Spread||Moneyline||Over/Under||Team Total|
It’s been quite a long time since these teams played. The last time was in 1999 when Virginia beat Illinois 63-21. Of course, the spread at that time was much smaller, as Virginia only came in as two-point favorites. For more College Football odds, check out our Nevada Wolfpack vs. California Golden Bears pick.
Illinois Fighting Illini
Next game: vs. Maryland
Last game vs. UTSA
Things didn’t quite go as planned for the Fighting Illini when they faced the UTSA Roadrunners last week. This was the first time the Roadrunners would face a Big Ten opponent and Ilinois dropped the ball. They lost the game 37-30 and failed to cover the 4.5-point spread. Clearly, this was a disappointment for them after coming off a big win over Nebraska.
Illinois Head Coach Bret Bielema had this to say after the loss “This hurts, you know,” said Illinois coach Bret Bielema. “Against a non-conference opponent. And I don’t mean to take anything away from UTSA. They are a good football team, and they came in here with a game plan, and they executed it.” per ESPN.
There is a long list of injuries for Illinois as they head into Saturday’s game. The most notable are two running backs, Chase Hayden and Jafar Armstrong. This shouldn’t affect Illinois too much at the sportsbook, though.
Next game: at UNC
All was right for the Cavaliers who throttled William & Mary last week 43-0. The Cavaliers started the game red hot, moving the ball efficiently down the field. By the end of the first half, Virginia was already up 17-0. They finished the game with 545 total yards and had 22 first downs compared to W&M’s 11. Overall, the Cavaliers were far too overwhelming for William & Mary.
Perhaps even better news for bettors is that the Cavaliers covered a huge 30-point spread. As far as College Football spreads go, thirty points are quite a lot. Virginia covered that spread with thirteen points to spare. Needless to say, the first week ended in a success for the Virginia Cavaliers.
Perhaps the most significant injury to the Cavaliers roster is the loss of TE Jelani Woods. He left the game against William & Mary with an undisclosed injury and is listed as “questionable.” Considering the strength of the offense for Virginia is in the passing game, this could pose a problem.
Betting on the Game
On the surface, it may not seem like these two teams are a good match. Illinois is coming off a loss to a team that’s younger than a decade. The Cavaliers absolutely throttled William & Mary, and most think the same will happen to Illinois. However, when paying attention to the Moneyline, we can see something has changed. When this game first opened, Illinois was +325, and now BetOnline has them at +320.
This tells us that the Fighting Illini have a better chance of winning this game than we originally thought. Of course, they’re still heavy underdogs, but the payoff for a win here is outstanding. We also have to remember that Illinois beat Nebraska in the first game of the season. Perhaps their recent loss was just an anomaly?
The Virginia Cavaliers covered their last game easily and have 10 points to cover here. The line has moved since the start here as well, starting at 12.5 and now just at 10. One thing we definitely need to consider is the strength of competition for the Cavaliers so far. They played William & Mary, and although the spread was high, Virginia covered the thirty plus thirteen more.
Now they’ll face Illinois, a much better team coming off an uncharacteristic loss. Being spotted ten points means you have a touchdown and a field goal separating you and your opponent. Although sportsbooks think Virginia has this in the bag, we see a slightly gray area here.
The over/under on this game is at 55, which is considered fairly average for these teams. In Illinois’s first two games, the total has gone over once. It could’ve been twice, but they missed the over by half of a point. The most concerning part about the over/under here are the Illinois defense. They’ve surrendered 52 total points in two games, and Virginia has a great offense.
In Virginia’s first game, the total went under. Don’t blame Virginia for that, though, as William & Mary didn’t help to increase the score. The 55 point total in this game versus Illinois and Virginia shouldn’t be too out of reach for these teams.