Ohio State vs. Illinois - 11/18/17 College Football Pick, Odds, and Prediction
Illinois Fighting Illini (2-8) at Ohio State Buckeyes (8-2)
College Football: Saturday, November 18, 2017 at 3:30 pm (Ohio Stadium)
The Line: Ohio State Buckeyes -38 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds
TV: ABC, ESPN3
The Illinois Fighting Illini and Ohio State Buckeyes meet Saturday in college football action at Ohio Stadium.
The Illinois Fighting Illini would love nothing more than to earn their first conference win while snapping an eight-game losing streak. The Illinois Fighting Illini have lost seven straight road games. Jeff George, Jr. is completing 51.9 percent of his passes for 1,273 yards, seven touchdowns and 10 interceptions. George has three touchdown passes and three interceptions in his last three games. Ricky Smalling and Louis Dorsey have combined for 820 receiving yards and five touchdowns while Malik Turner has 27 receptions. The Illinois Fighting Illini ground game is averaging 107.8 yards per contest, and Mike Epstein leads the way with 346 yards and three touchdowns. Defensively, Illinois is allowing 28.4 points and 403.2 yards per game. Del'Shawn Phillips leads the Illinois Fighting Illini with 72 tackles, James Crawford has four sacks and Bennett Williams has two interceptions.
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The Ohio State Buckeyes look for their ninth win of the season to inch closer to the Big Ten Championship. The Ohio State Buckeyes have won 12 of their last 13 home games. J.T. Barrett is completing 67.4 percent of his passes for 2,557 yards, 30 touchdowns and seven interceptions. Barrett has nine touchdown passes and six interceptions in his last three games. Parris Campbell and K.J. Hill have combined for 895 receiving yards and five touchdowns while Johnnie Dixon has 17 receptions. The Ohio State Buckeyes ground game is averaging 245.3 yards per contest, and J.K. Dobbins leads the way with 1,038 yards and five touchdowns. Defensively, Ohio State is allowing 20.4 points and 310.2 yards per game. Jordan Fuller leads the Ohio State Buckeyes with 54 tackles, Nick Bosa has five sacks and Damon Webb has three interceptions.
The Fighting Illini are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 road games, 3-7 ATS in their last 10 conference games and 4-9 ATS in their last 13 games overall. The Buckeyes are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 conference games, 2-5 ATS in their last 7 home games and 1-5 ATS vs. a team with a losing record. The Fighting Illini are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 meetings in Ohio State, 1-4 ATS in their last 5 meetings and the home team is 5-2 ATS in their last 7 meetings.
Illinois is losing a lot of games, but all five of its losses have been decided by 19 or less points. The problem is even playing games close, the Illinois Fighting Illini aren't covering games, and that's obviously the only thing we care about. The Ohio State Buckeyes have been hit or miss in terms of covering big numbers, but they did look great last week against a solid Michigan State team, and they have done a good job of mopping the floor with teams they should mop the floor with. We could very well see a repeat of last week with Ohio State, but there's also the lookahead factor with Michigan on deck. I really don't want to lay this much chalk, but Illinois is awful and the talent gap is quite large. So, give me the Buckeyes in a blowout.