The Illinois Fighting Illini have everything on the line Saturday afternoon, opposing the Northwestern Wildcats Saturday afternoon. It’s a great draw in a must-win game, as Northwestern is winless forever (not quite). With a win and some key losses, Illinois is able to leapfrog both Purdue and Iowa, getting the Michigan-Ohio St. winner in the title game.
Illinois Lost, But…
The Illinois Fighting Illini may be on a three-game losing skid, but they showed us something last week. Playing at the Big House in Ann Arbor, the Illini hung with the Michigan Wolverines before losing. 19-17. That a 17-point underdog.
Illinois was on an 0-2 against the spread (ATS) slide, with bad losses to Michigan St. and Purdue. Prior to that, the Fighting Illini were 5-1 ATS between weeks 3 and 8. So, which Illinois team is in Evanston Saturday afternoon?
A slim chance of winning the Big Ten West means Illinois is going to come out swinging against weak Northwestern. Illinois has but one route to the title game. First, they have to beat the Wildcats. Then, Iowa needs to lose (to Nebraska) and Purdue needs to be beaten by Indiana. Illinois couldn’t have picked a better opponent than Northwestern in this must-win final game.
Northwestern Winless Since Opener
There isn’t much to say about Northwestern that their record doesn’t offer. They haven’t won a game since the opener, stunning Nebraska as dozen-point ‘dogs.
Entering Week 13, Northwestern’s ATS record is at 5-6, 4-3 in their last seven. They are 1-4 ATS at home, the lone win (cover) against Nebraska.
There’s no way to take a team against the spread which hasn’t covered at home in three months. Since their offense is not consistent, Northwestern has figured in many low-scoring games during this losing streak. The under is 3-0 in the last three, and 7-3 in their last 10.
Illinois vs Northwestern Game Injuries
Illinois vs Northwestern Head-to-Head
As these Big Ten rivals see one another annually. NU has dominated the last decade, 8-2 (7-3 against the spread). UI was a 47-14 winner last season, with no issue as seven-point favorites.
Illinois vs Northwestern Game Information
- Game: Illinois (7-4 5-3 Big Ten) vs Northwestern (1-10, 1-7)
- Day/Time: Saturday, Nov. 26th, 3;30 pm ET
- Location: Ryan Field, Evanston, IL
- Illinois vs Northwestern Live Stream: ESPN
Illinois vs Northwestern Betting Lines
Illinois vs Northwestern Picks & Prediction
Do not wager on teams which haven’t won in three months.
Illinois nearly beat a Top-4 AP team in the AP-and a potential CFP participant-last week, so don’t think that momentum won’t transfer over to this finale.
Results of the other two games won’t be known to Illinois, so they’ll play as if the Big Ten West title is on the line.
The Illinois Fighting Illini are listed at -600 in our Vegas NCAAF lines. This means that if you wager $100 on Illinois, you have a chance to win $17. The Northwestern Wildcats are +450, offering a chance to win $450 on a $100 wager.
The implied probability attached to the betting lines gives Illinois an 85.71% chance to win, with Northwestern at 18.18%.