Northwestern Wildcats (7-4) at Illinois Fighting Illini (4-7)
|Date & Time||Saturday November 24, 2018, 3:30 PM (EST)|
The Line: Illinois Fighting Illini +18 -- Over/Under:
The Illinois Fighting Illini and Northwestern Wildcats meet Saturday in college football action at Ryan Field.
The Illinois Fighting Illini look to end the year on a high note after losing five of their last six games. The Illinois Fighting Illini have lost their last three road games. AJ Bush Jr. is completing 52.8 percent of his passes for 1,132 yards, five touchdowns and nine interceptions. M.J. Rivers II and Bush have combined for eight touchdown passes and 12 interceptions this season. Ricky Smalling and Trenard Davis have combined for 609 receiving yards and four touchdowns while Sam Mays has 25 receptions. The Illinois Fighting Illini ground game is averaging 252.4 yards per contest, and Reggie Corbin leads the way with 1,007 yards and nine touchdowns. Defensively, Illinois is allowing 40.8 points and 520.8 yards per game. Del'Shawn Phillips leads the Illinois Fighting Illini with 88 tackles, Bobby Roundtree has 8.5 sacks and Jartavius Martin has three interceptions.
The Northwestern Wildcats look for their eighth win of the season to head into the Big Ten Championship with some momentum. The Northwestern Wildcats have lost four of their last six home games. Clayton Thorson is completing 60.1 percent of his passes for 2,565 yards, 12 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. Thorson has one or less touchdown passes in 10 of his last 13 games. Flynn Nagel and Bennett Skowronek have combined for 1,252 receiving yards and four touchdowns while Cameron Green has 45 receptions. The Northwestern Wildcats ground game is averaging 101.4 yards per contest, and Isaiah Bowser leads the way with 570 yards and six touchdowns. Defensively, Northwestern is allowing 22.2 points and 367 yards per game. Blake Gallagher leads the Northwestern Wildcats with 99 tackles, Joe Gaziano has six sacks and JR Pace has three interceptions.
The Fighting Illini are 3-8 ATS in their last 11 road games, 1-5 ATS in their last 6 conference games and 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games overall. The Wildcats are 2-0-2 ATS in their last 4 home games, 7-0-1 ATS in their last 8 games in November and 15-5-2 ATS in their last 22 games overall. The Fighting Illini are 5-13 ATS in their last 18 meetings. The under is 4-1 in Wildcats last 5 games overall.
The Illinois Fighting Illini are one of those teams that don't seem to be getting any better from week to week, and each of their last six losses have been ugly blowouts. The Northwestern Wildcats have won six of their last seven games and want to keep those positive vibes heading into the Big Ten title game. The Illinois Fighting Illini have failed to cover six straight games as a double-digit underdog. The Northwestern Wildcats have failed to cover 10 of their last 15 games as a double-digit favorite. I'm never big on laying big numbers with Northwestern, an old school Big Ten team that doesn't blow teams out and often finds itself in these ugly, close games. However, the Illinois Fighting Illini are awful both SU and ATS, and when they lose, they lose big. So, I'll lay the points with Northwestern if forced to pick.