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Illinois Fighting Illini vs. Nebraska Cornhuskers - 10/1/16 College Football Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Illinois Fighting Illini (1-2) at Nebraska Cornhuskers (4-0)

College Football: Saturday, October 1, 2016 at 3:30 pm (Memorial Stadium)

The Line: Nebraska Cornhuskers -21.5 -- Over/Under: 54 See the Latest Odds

TV: ESP2

Over at Tom Osborne Field at Memorial Stadium in Lincoln on Saturday, October 1, we’ve got a big Week 5 college football matchup looming between the Illinois Fighting Illini and the Nebraska Cornhuskers. 

Illinois came out of the gate strong this year, but has faltered in their past two games, culminating in a 34-10 defeat by Western Michigan in their last appearance. The Illini were pushed around on the ground all afternoon in that one, allowing 287 rush yards to a measly three rush yards of their own. Illini QB Wes Lunt had a tepid day on 29-of-42 passing for 312 yards, one TD and one interception. Ke’Shawn Vaughn didn’t fare any better in the rush game for Illinois, totaling just 22 yards on eight carries. Malik Turner was the Illini’s lone statistical bright spot, with nine receptions for 107 yards overall. 

Illinois Fighting Illini vs. Nebraska Cornhuskers - 10/1/16 College Football Pick, Odds, and Prediction

USA TODAY Sports

So far this year for the Fighting Illini, Lunt has gathered a 61-of-98 passing line for 665 yards, six touchdowns and one interception. Vaughn leads all the Illinois rushers with 187 yards on 40 carries, while Turner has bagged 15 receptions for 223 yards and three scores for the Illini. 

On the Nebraska side, they’re coming into this game with a sweet 4-0 record, getting their most recent victory this past Saturday against Northwestern 24-13. The Cornhuskers had some mistakes in the first half (most notably a pair of lost fumbles near the goal line) but QB Tommy Armstrong kept them in it with an 18-of-29 line for 246 yards and a TD. Armstrong also led the Huskers in rushing with 13 carries for 132 yards. The high man in receiving for Nebraska here was Alonzo Moore, who came down with three catches for 72 yards. 

Armstrong has provided the Huskers with a 60-of-106 mark overall this season with eight touchdowns to just one interception. Devine Ozigbo leads all Nebraska rushers on 66 carries for 283 yards and four scores, while Moore is tops for the Cornhuskers in receiving with his 12 grabs for 310 yards and two TDs. 

Illinois is 4-9 ATS in their last 13 October games, and 5-16 ATS in their last 21 road games. Illinois is also 1-4 ATS in their last five games following an ATS loss, and 1-5 ATS in their last six conference games. 

As for Nebraska, they’re 3-0-1 ATS in their last four home games, and 4-0-1 ATS in their last five games overall. Nebraska is also 4-1-1 ATS in their last six games on field turf and 5-1-1 ATS versus a team with a losing record. 

Illinois has been outscored 82-33 in their past two games, and they’ll need to score 50 here to keep pace with Nebraska. That’s simply not going to happen, as the Cornhuskers have allowed 17 points or fewer in three of their four games this year. The line here is pretty thick, but I don’t think it will take much for Nebraska to cover; the mismatch should be evident from the opening kickoff.

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Nebraska Cornhuskers -21.5

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