Two schools that like to focus on their running games, Fighting Illini (-10) are set to host their in-conference nemesis Northwestern Wildcats in Illinois. This daytime game is scheduled to kick off at 12:00 p.m. ET and FS1 will televise the action.
Northwestern at Illinois Betting Odds 11/30/2019
The spread for this Big 10 game is sitting at 10 points in favor of Illinois. The Wildcats are currently getting +300 moneyline odds while the Fighting Illini are -400. The over/under has been set at 44 points. There should be some solid in-game betting opportunities for this match.
This game’s line opened at -11, while the total hasn’t changed after it was set initially at 44.
The Wildcats are 2-9 straight up (SU), including 0-8 SU against Big 10 opponents. The Fighting Illini are 6-5 SU overall and 4-4 SU in conference play. The underwhelming Wildcats are 3-7-1 against the spread (ATS) and are down 6.0 units this season. They’ve been a good under bet and have recorded an O/U mark of 4-7.
The surprising Fighting Illini are up 5.2 units this year. They’re 8-3 ATS and also have an O/U record of 4-7.
The Wildcats dropped one to Minnesota 38-22 in a game where their defense allowed the Golden Gophers to run for 212 yards on 39 rush attempts, along with one rushing TD. Tyler Johnson had a productive day for the Golden Gophers in that one with 125 yards and a score on seven catches. Offensively, Andrew Marty completed eight passes on 10 attempts for only 95 yards and one touchdown. Marty (52 yards on 16 rush attempts, two TDs) also led the running attack and was complemented by Evan Hull (51 yards on 14 carries) in the loss. Riley Lees (three receptions, 53 yards) and Malik Washington (one catch, 11 yards) shared the receiving duties.
Illinois just lost a 19-10 game to Iowa. The defensive secondary allowed the Hawkeyes to air it out for 308 yards. Ihmir Smith-Marsette had a good showing in the win for Iowa, recording 121 yards on four catches. For Illinois, Brandon Peters completed 16-of-31 passes for 125 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions. Dre Brown (67 yards on 14 rush attempts) and the signal-caller Peters (76 yards on 10 carries) mounted the ground attack in the defeat as Josh Imatorbhebhe (four receptions, 36 yards) and Justice Williams (four catches, 24 yards) led the pass-catching corps.
Northwestern’s run the ball on 60.6 percent of its offensive possessions this year while Illinois has a rush percentage of 58.4 percent. The Wildcats have produced 162 rush yards/game (including 135 per game versus Big Ten opponents) and have 14 scores via handoffs this year. The Fighting Illini are averaging 154 rushing yards per contest (149 in conference) and have 17 total rush TDs.
The Wildcats have logged 123 yards/contest through the air overall (124 per game versus conference opposition) and have five passing TDs so far. The Fighting Illini have produced 180 pass yards per game (157.5 against Big 10 foes) and have 18 total pass scores.
Northwestern should hold an advantage in both areas of the defense. The team has allowed opponents to rush for an average of 148 yards and pass for 204 yards per game. Illinois has allowed 185.5 rushing yards per game and 221.9 to opponents in the air. Both teams allow similar adjusted net yards per pass attempt (ANY/A) to opponents, as the Wildcats have given up an ANY/A of 6.16 to opposing QBs, while the Fighting Illini are yielding an ANY/A of 6.4.
Marty has put up 95 pass yards this season, and has connected on 8-of-12 attempts with one passing touchdowns and one interception. Marty’s got a 5.83 adjusted net yards per pass attempt overall, although that number is 11.50 over the past two outings.
Look for a balanced attack offensively from Northwestern in this one. Evan Hull (66 rushing yards this season), Riley Lees (307 receiving yards, one receiving TD) and Andrew Marty (70 rush yards, two rush TDs, 0 receiving yards) have each played significant roles recently.
In the other huddle, Brandon Peters has produced 1,242 yards, 14 TDs and six INTs. Peters’ ANY/A stands at 5.11 for the year and 5.34 across his last two games.
We’re thinking the Fighting Illini will maintain game flow by putting the ball in the hands of their running backs. In addition to Josh Imatorbhebhe (456 receiving yards, seven receiving TDs this season), Dre Brown (509 rush yards, four rush TDs) and Reggie Corbin (615 rush yards, five rush TDs) have delivered significant production to the Fighting Illini’s recent offensive gameplans.
These two teams met last year with the final outcome being a 24-16 win for Northwestern.
Northwestern Wildcats at Illinois Fighting Illini NCAA Prediction
SU Winner – Northwestern, ATS Winner – Northwestern, O/U – Under
Team Betting Notes
The Wildcats offense has registered two pass plays of 40 or more yards, while the Fighting Illini have put up six such plays.
The Northwestern defense has allowed four pass plays of 40+ yards, while Illinois has given up seven such plays.
The Northwestern offense has created 10 rushing plays of 20 yards or more, while Illinois has created 17 such runs.
The Wildcats defense has allowed 11 rushing plays of 20 or more yards, while the Fighting Illini have given up 20 such runs.
The Illinois D has tallied 22 sacks on the year while Northwestern has 21.
As a team, Northwestern has produced 4.9 yards per carry across its past three outings and 4.6 over its last two.
Illinois has averaged 3.9 yards per carry over its last three contests and 3.5 over its last two.
In its last three matchups, Illinois is 3-0 ATS and the under cashed in two of those three.
The Over/Under for Northwestern’s last game was 42. The over cashed in the team’s 38-22 loss to Minnesota.
Over its last three contests, Northwestern is 1-1-1 ATS and the over cashed in two of those three.
The Over/Under for Illinois’ last match was set at 48. The under cashed in that 19-10 loss to Iowa.