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Illinois Fighting Illini vs. Washington Huskies Free Pick 9/14/13

Washington Huskies (1-0) at Illinois Fighting Illini (2-0)

College Football: Saturday, September 14, 2013 at 6:00 pm (Memorial Stadium)

The Line: Illinois Fighting Illini +9.5 -- Over/Under: 58 See the Latest Odds


The Washington Huskies head to Illinois on Saturday to face off against the Fighting Illini at Soldier Field.

The Illinois Fighting Illini are off to an impressive 2-0 start on the season after Illinois defeated the Cincinnati Bearcats on Saturday 45-17. The Illini have been playing good ball this season, but color me cautious as it seems we have all played this game before with Illinois. Illini quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase is on fire this season, and against the Bearcats on Saturday things were no different. Scheelhaase threw for 312 yards and four scores against Cincy, and is quickly climbing the Big Ten quarterback ranks. Illinois put up 522 yards of offense against the Bearcats, and in very non-Illini fashion, didn’t turn the ball over once. Defensively Illinois employed the bend but don’t break philosophy as the Illini allowed 456 yards to the Bearcats, while still holding Cincinnati to 17 points.

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Illinois Fighting Illini vs. Washington Huskies Free Pick 9/14/13

Bradley Leeb-USA TODAY Sports

The Washington Huskies have gotten off to a strong start this season as the Huskies are 1-0 and fresh off a dominating win over the Boise State Broncos 38-6. The Huskies’ offense has been hitting on all cylinders this season, and on Saturday Washington unleashed this offense upon Boise State. Washington put up 592 yards of offense against the Huskies, 324 of which came through the air. Keith Price was very effective against the Broncos, throwing for 324 yards and two scores, against one interception. The Broncos offense, was able to move the ball a bit against this Huskies defense, putting up 346 yards but the Broncos were not able to turn those yards into points.

In the past three seasons as a favorite, the Huskies are 9-2 overall, and 7-4 against the spread within that same span. The Illini are 2-1 overall, and 2-1 against the spread in their last three games against Pac-12 opponents.

We have seen a bit of line movement here, especially early on. The Illini opened up at +8 in most offshore books, and within hours the line had jumped all the way to +9.5. The number has climbed as high as 10.5, but since has settled back down to the 9.5 mark.

Tough call, but at the current number I have to take the Illini in this spot. Scheelhaase is an excellent player and should be solid against the Huskies, but I really like the way Washington is playing this season. The travel distance for the Huskies does concern me a bit, but as long as the number stays in the single digits, the Huskies look like the play.

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