Illinois vs. WKU - 9/9/17 College Football Pick, Odds, and Prediction
WKU Hilltoppers (1-0) at Illinois Fighting Illini (1-0)
College Football: Saturday, September 9, 2017 at 8:00 pm (Memorial Stadium-Champaign)
The Line: Illinois Fighting Illini +8 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds
The Western Kentucky Hilltoppers and Illinois Fighting Illini meet Saturday in college football action at Memorial Stadium.
The Western Kentucky Hilltoppers look for a statement victory after a 31-17 victory over Eastern Kentucky. The Western Kentucky Hilltoppers have won three straight road games. Mike White is completing 64.5 percent of his passes for 264 yards, one touchdown and zero interceptions. White has 10 touchdown passes in his last four games. Lucky Jackson and Deon Yelder have combined for 184 receiving yards and one touchdown while Nacarius Fant has four receptions. The Western Kentucky Hilltoppers ground game is averaging 100 yards per contest, and Marquez Trigg leads the way with 61 yards and one touchdown. Defensively, Western Kentucky is allowing 17 points and 345 yards per game. Joel Iyiegbuniwe leads the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers with nine tackles, Joe Brown has one sack and Roger Cray has one pass deflection.
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The Illinois Fighting Illini also look for a 2-0 start to the season after a 24-21 victory over Ball State. The Illinois Fighting Illini have lost five of their last seven home games. Chayce Crouch is completing 52.6 percent of his passes for 145 yards, one touchdown and one interception. Crouch has two touchdown passes on his last 51 pass attempts. Malik Turner and Mike Dudek have combined for 95 receiving yards and one touchdown while Mike Epstein has two receptions. The Illinois Fighting Illini ground game is averaging 71 yards per contest, and Epstein leads the way with 54 yards and two touchdowns. Defensively, Illinois is allowing 21 points and 375 yards per game. Del'Shawn Phillips leads the Illinois Fighting Illini with 16 tackles, Isaiah Gay has one sack and Tré Watson has one interception.
The Hilltoppers are 0-3-1 ATS in their last 4 vs. Big Ten, 1-4 ATS in their last 5 non-conference games and 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games overall. The Fighting Illini are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 home games, 1-4 ATS in their last 5 non-conference games and 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games overall. The over is 4-1 in Fighting Illini last 5 games overall and the over is 4-1 in Hilltoppers last 5 games overall.
Illinois is one of those Big ten teams that's not going to get much respect from oddmakers due to past seasons and reputation. There's a couple of those teams every season. But this years squad is better than most give credit for, and don't be surprised if they win some of these games as underdogs outright. WKU is still a squad that can be scored on often, and I'm not sure the Hilltoppers will be able to win in the trenches against a Big Ten squad. I'm taking my free touchdown here with the home team and wouldn't be shocked if Illinois won straight up.