Illinois vs. Minnesota - 10/25/14 CFB Pick, Odds, Prediction
Minnesota Golden Gophers (6-1) at Illinois Fighting Illini (3-4)
College Football: Saturday
The Line: Illinois Fighting Illini +7 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds
The Minnesota Golden Gophers and Illinois Fighting Illini will play Saturday afternoon at Memorial Stadium.
The Minnesota Golden Gophers look to remain undefeated in conference play and stay in first place in the Big Ten West. Offensively, Minnesota relies heavily on a running game led by David Cobb, who has 1,013 rushing yards and five touchdowns. Minnesota has 11 rushing plays of 20 or more yards and has won 10 straight games when rushing for 200-plus yards. Mitch Leidner is completing 54.1 percent of his passes for five touchdowns and five interceptions. In his last three games, Leidner has seven total touchdowns and one interception. Maxx Williams is the only Golden Gopher with double-digit receptions, and he leads Minnesota with 247 yards and four touchdowns. Minnesota has just 63 receptions all season and just 19 passing plays of 15 or more yards. Defensively, the Minnesota Golden Gophers are allowing 21.4 points, 364.3 yards, and they’ve forced 18 turnovers and 11 sacks. Damien Wilson leads Minnesota with 76 tackles and Cameron Botticelli has six tackles for loss.
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The Illinois Fighting Illini have lost three straight and are still looking for their first conference win. The main issue for Illinois remains its defense, as it’s allowing 35.9 points, 484.6 yards, and they’ve forced seven turnovers and 12 sacks. The Fighting Illini have lost 11 of their 13 games SU when allowing 24 or more points. Zane Petty leads Illinois with 65 tackles and Austin Teitsma has 6.5 tackles for loss. Offensively, Reilly O'Toole is completing 55.3 percent of his passes for three touchdowns and four interceptions. Mike Dudek and Geronimo Allison have combined for 67 receptions and eight touchdowns and more than 1,000 yards. The Illinois ground game is averaging just 3.7 yards per carry, as Josh Ferguson and Donovonn Young have combined for more than 600 yards and nine touchdowns.
The Golden Gophers are 8-1 ATS in their last 9 conference games and 10-4 ATS in their last 14 games overall. The Fighting Illini are 5-15 ATS in their last 20 conference games and 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games overall. The Golden Gophers are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 meetings in Illinois, while the road team is 5-1 ATS in their last 6 meetings.
The Minnesota Golden Gophers are one of the more underrated teams in the country and have have Illinois beat on both sides of the ball. This game really shouldn’t even be close, which is why I have the Golden Gophers by double digits.