Illinois vs. Rutgers - 10/14/17 College Football Pick, Odds, and Prediction
Rutgers Scarlet Knights (1-4) at Illinois Fighting Illini (2-3)
College Football: Saturday, October 14, 2017 at 12:00 pm (Memorial Stadium-Champaign)
The Line: Illinois Fighting Illini -3 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds
The Rutgers Scarlet Knights and Illinois Fighting Illini meet Saturday in college football action at Memorial Stadium.
The Rutgers Scarlet Knights would love a nice road victory to climb out of a brutal 1-4 hole. The Rutgers Scarlet Knights have lost six straight road games. Kyle Bolin is completing 55 percent of his passes for 698 yards, three touchdowns and six interceptions. Bolin and Johnathan Lewis have combined for four touchdown passes and eight interceptions this season. Jerome Washington and Damon Mitchell have combined for 263 receiving yards and one touchdown while Janarion Grant has 12 receptions. The Rutgers Scarlet Knights ground game is averaging 154 yards per contest, and Gus Edwards leads the way with 302 yards and two touchdowns. Defensively, Rutgers is allowing 25.8 points and 364.2 yards per game. Trevor Morris leads the Rutgers Scarlet Knights with 36 tackles, Darnell Davis has two sacks and Kiy Hester has two interceptions.
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The Illinois Fighting Illini could use a win to snap a three-game losing streak and get back to a .500 record. The Illinois Fighting Illini have lost six of their last nine home games. Jeff George, Jr. is completing 50.7 percent of his passes for 457 yards, one touchdown and five interceptions. George and Chayce Crouch have combined for two touchdown passes and nine interceptions this season. Mike Dudek and Malik Turner have combined for 382 receiving yards and one touchdown while Ricky Smalling has nine receptions. The Illinois Fighting Illini ground game is averaging 124.8 yards per contest, and Mike Epstein leads the way with 346 yards and three touchdowns. Defensively, Illinois is allowing 29.6 points and 430.2 yards per game. Del'Shawn Phillips leads the Illinois Fighting Illini with 44 tackles, Bobby Roundtree has three sacks and Tré Watson has one interception.
The Scarlet Knights are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games in October, 1-4 ATS in their last 5 conference games and 3-8 ATS vs. a team with a losing record. The Fighting Illini are 2-7 ATS in their last 9 home games, 0-5 ATS in their last 5 conference games and 1-7 ATS in their last 8 games overall. The under is 4-0 in Fighting Illini last 4 home games and the under is 6-2 in Scarlet Knights last 8 games overall.
It's tough to make a case for either one of these teams, as the struggles on both sides of the ball are real. Rutgers has topped 17 points just once in five games and Illinois has given up 40-plus points twice in its last three games. The Fighting Illini can't get their quarterbacks to stop turning the ball over and the Scarlet Knights haven't won a road game since November of 2015. The one advantage is that Rutgers has had an extra week to prepare, but that hasn't stopped this program from losing games left and right. You're flipping a coin when trying to find an edge in this spot. So, in a 50-50 toss-up, I tend to side with the home team. I'll lay the field goal with Illinois if forced to pick.