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Analyzing the Odds: Illinois Football travels to Kansas



Illinois Football
Sep 2, 2023; Champaign, Illinois, USA; Illinois Fighting Illini linebacker Dylan Rosiek (28) tackles Toledo Rockets quarterback Dequan Finn (7) during the second half at Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ron Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Illinois Football is an underdog against the Kansas Jayhawks.

Week one is in the books. Illinois football travels to Lawrence to take on the Kansas Jayhawks at David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium. While Kansas easily defeated FCS Missouri State, the Illini struggled against Toldeo in its home opener. Illinois’ struggles against Toledo are likely why the line moved early this week.

Illinois was initially a 1.5-point underdog; they are now a 3.5-point underdog against the Jayhawks. Kansas’ offense was explosive last week despite quarterback Jaylon Daniels not playing due to a back injury. According to Bret McMurphy, he’s slated to play:

Here’s some more analysis about the Betting Odds:

Spread: +3.5

Over/Under: 54.5

Money Line: +140

Though Daniels is expected to start, no one knows how healthy he’ll be. Don’t rule out the possibility that he won’t play either. Universities aren’t required to submit injury reports, so we won’t know anything until game day. Kansas returns ten offensive starters from their 2022 team. Offensive coordinator Andy Kotelnicki schemed one of the best offenses in college football last season. Kansas led the country in EPA per play and was third in explosiveness.

Kotelnicki will challenge Illinois defenders’ eye discipline with formations and motion.

Daniels was one of the most explosive quarterbacks last season, leading college football in EPA per pass. However, Daniels was not as effective in the second half of the season. Much of that had to do with the increased difficulty of the schedule.

Aaron Henry’s defense struggled against Toledo at times. They surrendered over 400 yards to the Rockets but allowed 5.3 yards per play. Only six starters returned from the 2022 squad. Toledo’s ability to push Illinois’ defensive line has to be a concern. In addition, the Illini played sloppy football, committing ten penalties. However, they played better in the second half.

Do yourself a favor and fade the Kansas defense. The Jayhawks allowed 6.3 yards per play last year. They ranked 120th in success rate, 123rd in EPA per play, and 131st in havoc rate. Illinois’ offensive line wants to play better. Expect them to be extra ornery in Lawrence.

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.