Minnesota Golden Gophers (5-2) at Illinois Fighting Illini (2-5)
College Football: Saturday, October 29, 2016 at 12:00 pm (Memorial Stadium)
The Line: Illinois Fighting Illini +9 -- Over/Under: Click to Get Latest Betting Odds
The Minnesota Golden Gophers and Illinois Fighting Illini meet early Saturday afternoon in a Big Ten college football game at Memorial Stadium.
The Minnesota Golden Gophers look for a third straight victory that would make them bowl eligible. The Minnesota Golden Gophers have lost four of their last six road games overall. Mitch Leidner is completing 58.1 percent of his passes for 1,162 yards, five touchdowns and five interceptions. Leidner has one touchdown pass on his last 91 pass attempts. Drew Wolitarsky and Brian Smith have combined for 729 receiving yards and four touchdowns while Tyler Johnson has 11 receptions. The Minnesota Golden Gophers ground game is averaging 212.4 yards per contest, and Rodney Smith leads the way with 701 yards and eight touchdowns. Defensively, Minnesota is allowing 22.9 points and 356.7 yards per game. Jonathan Celestin leads the Minnesota Golden Gophers with 55 tackles, Tai'yon Devers has three sacks and KiAnte Hardin has two interceptions.
The The Illinois Fighting Illini could use a bounce back victory after losing five of their last six games. Five of the Illinois Fighting Illini last seven victories have come on their home field. Jeff George, Jr. is completing 26.7 percent of his passes for 95 yards, one touchdown and one interception. Wes Lunt and Chayce Crouch remain questionable due to injuries. Malik Turner and Justin Hardee have combined for 619 receiving yards and four touchdowns while Zach Grant has 10 receptions. The Illinois Fighting Illini ground game is averaging 173.7 yards per contest, and Kendrick Foster leads the way with 429 yards and five touchdowns. Defensively, Illinois is allowing 28.3 points and 413.1 yards per game. Hardy Nickerson leads the Illinois Fighting Illini with 72 tackles, Carroll Phillips has five sacks and Darius Mosely has two interceptions.
The Golden Gophers are 4-0-1 ATS in their last 5 road games and 1-4 ATS vs. a team with a losing record. The Fighting Illini are 1-6 ATS in their last 7 home games and 7-3 ATS in their last 10 games in October. The Golden Gophers are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 meetings in Illinois and 4-1 ATS in their last 5 meetings overall.
Illinois simply isn't a good football team right now and now has quarterback issues. The Minnesota Golden Gophers are playing their best ball of the season and have a defense that travels. I'll side with Minnesota by double digits.