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Analyzing the Odds: Illinois football are underdogs against the Gophers



Illinois football

Illinois football is a slight underdog against the Gophers this weekend.

Illinois football returns to the field this weekend, traveling to Minneapolis to tangle with the Minnesota Golden  Gophers. Both teams have a lot riding on this weekend s game. Minnesota is in a four-way tie for first place in the Big Ten West, while Illinois is playing for its postseason lives. Winning their remaining games would benefit the Gophers and Illini. Minnesota does have #3 Ohio State left on its schedule, but they have wins over Nebraska and Iowa, with their season finale against Wisconsin for Paul Bunyan’s Axe.

Illinois’ bowl hopes took a severe hit with a heartbreaking loss to Wisconsin two weeks ago. At 3-5, the Illini must win three of its next four games to be eligible for the postseason. Losing to the Badgers tightens the margins for Illinois. The Illini have Iowa, Indiana, and Northwestern left on the schedule after the Minnesota game. Illinois is so evenly matched with every team on the schedule; their margins are razor-thin.

Illinois football odds:

Odds: Illinois +2, Minnesota -2

Money Line: Minnesota -129, Illinois +109

Over/Under: 42.5

How to Watch: Big Ten Network

Keys to Victory

Illinois has played better in the last two games. The running game has picked up despite injuries to Reggie Love and Josh McCray. Freshman Kaden Feagin leads the Illini in rushing yards. The Illini need to keep playing well. They need to decrease the penalties — they had nine against Wisconsin — and continue to run the football well. Luke Altmyer is playing better. He had his first turnover-free game against Wisconsin n. He and the Illini need to keep that up.

Minnesota isn’t great offensive y. They’ve thrown for 200 yards just once this year. The Gophers also turn the ball over at a pretty high rate. Illinois can’t give it back when they get turnovers. This might seem simple, but the Illini need to score touchdowns. They cannot settle for field goals. Minnesota wants to control the clock, so the Illini will not get a lot of possessions.

It will be a close game, and the team able to score touchdowns will be the one who wins.


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Armchair Illini is a comprehensive site dedicated to covering University of Illinois Athletics owned and operated by Alex Kyi. Dante Pryor has been writing about College Football for years on Saturday Blitz and is now the Lead Football Author for Armchair Illini.