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Analyzing the Odds: Illinois football favored in another must win against Indiana



Sep 23, 2023; Champaign, Illinois, USA; Illinois Fighting Illini players take the field during the fist half against the FL Atlantic Owls at Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ron Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Illinois football is favored against the Indiana Hoosiers.

Illinois football finds themselves in familiar territory again this week. The Illini are playing a team with equal stakes in the game. Indiana’s 20-14 home upset of the Wisconsin Badgers gives them an outside chance at a bowl game. The Hoosiers need to run the table to become bowl-eligible. Illinois must win two of its next three games to reach the six-win mark. Redshirt freshman quarterback Brendan Sorsby played well for the Hoosiers, throwing for 186 yards and a touchdown. Linebacker Aaron Casey was Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week.

The Illini scored an improbable touchdown to defeat the Minnesota Golden Gophers 27-26 in Minneapolis last week. The Gophers needed the win to keep pace in the Big Ten West. Minnesota knocked quarterback Luke Altmyer out of the game. However, backup quarterback John Paddock came in and completed all three passes he threw, including the 46-yard game-winner to Isaiah Williams.

Illinois football is favored at home.

Odds: Illinois +6.5, Indiana -6.5

Team Total: o/u 43.5

Money Line: Illinois -250, Indiana +205

Illinois is 1-4 in their last five games against the spread. Indiana is 1-3 in their previous five games against the spread. The Hoosiers are 1-2 on the road against the spread.

Illinois keys to victory:

Indiana has been solid defensively against some of the better teams in the Big Ten East. They played Ohio State, Louisville, and Penn State tough this season. The Hoosier’s issue has been the offense. They’ve not been able to score consistently. However, the defense is salty. To make matters worse, leading receiver Cam Camper injured his knee and is out for the season.

The tone and tenor of the game completely changed with Johnny Newton playing the second half of the Minnesota game. As a result, the Gophers could not run or throw with any consistency. Therefore, Illinois’ defense should give its offense the ball often in this game. Indiana’s leaky run defense also should give running back Kaden Feagin an opportunity for his first 100-yard rushing game of the season.

The question for Saturday is the health of Luke Altmyer. Will he or John Paddock start? The Ball State transfer is a veteran, so the coaching staff have confidence in him. If Paddock starts, expect the Illini to lean on Feagin and the running game.

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.