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USF vs. Illinois - 9/15/17 College Football Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Illinois Fighting Illini (2-0) at USF Bulls (2-0)

College Football: Friday, September 15, 2017 at 7:00 pm (Raymond James Stadium)

The Line: USF Bulls -17 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds

TV: ESPN

The Illinois Fighting Illini and South Florida Bulls meet Friday in college football action at Raymond James Stadium on ESPN.

The Illinois Fighting Illini look for a 3-0 start to the season while snagging their first road victory. The Illinois Fighting Illini have lost eight of their last 10 road games. Chayce Crouch is completing 54.5 percent of his passes for 252 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions. Crouch has two touchdown passes on his last 76 pass attempts. Mike Dudek and Malik Turner have combined for 163 receiving yards and one touchdown while Mike Epstein has two receptions. The Illinois Fighting Illini ground game is averaging 132 yards per contest, and Epstein leads the way with 165 yards and two touchdowns. Defensively, Illinois is allowing 14 points and 309.5 yards per game. Del'Shawn Phillips leads the Illinois Fighting Illini with 22 tackles, Bobby Roundtree has three sacks and Tré Watson has one interception. 

USF vs. Illinois - 9/15/17 College Football Pick, Odds, and Prediction

USA TODAY Sports

The South Florida Bulls also look for a 3-0 start and didn’t play last week due to their game against UConn being suspended. The South Florida Bulls won five straight home games. Quinton Flowers is completing 55.6 percent of his passes for 398 yards, four touchdowns and one interception. Flowers has two or more touchdown passes in nine of his last 10 games. Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Tyre McCants have combined for 204 receiving yards and two touchdowns while Temi Alaka has four receptions. The South Florida Bulls ground game is averaging 234 yards per contest, and Darius Tice leads the way with 151 yards and three touchdowns. Defensively, USF is allowing 19.5 points and 308 yards per game. Nico Sawtelle leads the South Florida Bulls with 16 tackles, Greg Reaves has one sack and Devin Abraham has two interceptions.

The Fighting Illini are 8-18 ATS in their last 26 road games, 3-8 ATS vs. a team with a winning record and 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games overall. The Bulls are 4-1 ATS vs. a team with a winning record, 10-4-1 ATS in their last 15 home games and 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games overall. The over is 11-5 in Bulls last 16 games overall and the under is 7-1 in Fighting Illini last 8 non-conference games.

I said last week that there's going to be teams that get no respect from oddmakers and they'll make them look foolish. Illinois is one of those teams this season, and they just beat Western Kentucky outright as eight-point underdogs. Illinois is better than its past reputation and can hang around with these big numbers they're going to get. Yes, South Florida is the better team and has a terrific QB, but it's not like the Bulls have been lighting the world on fire their first couple of games. Even on the road, I'll take my chances with the truckload of points here.

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