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Rutgers vs. Illinois - 10/6/18 College Football Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Illinois Fighting Illini (2-2) at Rutgers Scarlet Knights (1-4)
Date & Time Saturday October 6, 2018, 12:00 PM (EDT)
The Line
The Line: Rutgers Scarlet Knights +2.5 -- Over/Under:
TV Channel
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CFB | Illinois Fighting Illini (2-2) at Rutgers Scarlet Knights (1-4)
Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

The Illinois Fighting Illini and Rutgers Scarlet Knights meet Saturday in college football action at Stadium.

The Illinois Fighting Illini look to get a game above a .500 record when they take to the road for the first time. The Illinois Fighting Illini have lost each of their last eight road games. M.J. Rivers II is completing 63 percent of his passes for 422 yards, three touchdowns and one interception. Rivers has 11 pass completions of 15 or more yards this season. Ricky Smalling and Sam Mays have combined for 261 receiving yards and two touchdowns while Mike Dudek has eight receptions. The Illinois Fighting Illini ground game is averaging 243.5 yards per contest, and Reggie Corbin leads the way with 327 yards and four touchdowns. Defensively, Illinois is allowing 31.5 points and 507.8 yards per game. Del'Shawn Phillips leads the Illinois Fighting Illini with 32 tackles, Bobby Roundtree has three sacks and Jartavius Martin has two interceptions. 

The Rutgers Scarlet Knights are getting desperate for a victory that would snap a four-game losing streak. The Rutgers Scarlet Knights have split their last eight home games. Artur Sitkowski is completing 49.6 percent of his passes for 483 yards, two touchdowns and eight interceptions. Sitkowski and Giovanni Rescigno have combined for two touchdown passes and nine interceptions this season. Jerome Washington and Bo Melton have combined for 334 receiving yards on 26 receptions while Eddie Lewis has 13 receptions. The Rutgers Scarlet Knights ground game is averaging 130.2 yards per contest, and Raheem Blackshear leads the way with 328 yards and two touchdowns. Defensively, Rutgers is allowing 36 points and 437.6 yards per game. Trevor Morris leads the Rutgers Scarlet Knights with 42 tackles, Elorm Lumor has two sacks and Damon Hayes has two interceptions.

The Fighting Illini are 4-9 ATS in their last 13 conference games and 2-5 ATS in their last 7 road games. The Scarlet Knights are 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games on fieldturf, 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games in October and 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games overall. The under is 4-1 in Scarlet Knights last 5 conference games and the under is 7-3 in Fighting Illini last 10 games overall.

This line smells fishy. The Illinois Fighting Illini have had an extra week to prepare, are off to one of their best starts in recent memory and all they have to do is lay 2.5 points against a Rutgers team that's still Rutgers. Illinois started off 2-0, had its chances to beat USF and hung around with Penn State until midway through the third quarter. The Fighting Illini are an improved squad that should be able to push for a bowl game this season. The Rutgers Scarlet Knights simply haven't changed much, as the offense has scored 17 or less points in four straight games and has turned the ball over 13 times. Rutgers is tied with Tulsa for the most turnovers in college football. It also probably doesn't help that Illinois is one of the best teams in the country at forcing turnovers and has seven picks on the year. I'm not sure how this line isn't bigger, but I'm not asking questions. Give me Illinois and the small chalk. 

Illinois Fighting Illini -2.5

Randy Chambers has been with Sports Chat Place since 2014 and covers everything from the NFL to WNBA and tennis. Nobody works harder in this business in terms of content produced and amount of sports covered. Formerly a lead college football writer with Bleacher Report and has had his work featured at Fox Sports, CBS Sports and various other outlets.

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