College football is back for Friday Night Lights on September 8 as Illinois heads west to take on Kansas. Oddsmakers currently have the Jayhawks listed as a 3-point home favorite in this Big 10 vs. Big 12 battle.
Which team will have the upper hand? Check out our 2 best bets for Illinois at Kansas below. Good luck with your action and have a profitable weekend.
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Illinois Illini +3 over Kansas Jayhawks
The Illini had a real scare in their opener against the Toledo Rockets. Set as a 7.5-point favorite, Illinois fell behind 12-7 at the half and then again 28-27 with just 3 minutes to go. Luke Altmyer led the Illini 60 yards to set up a game-winning Caleb Griffin field goal.
Altmyer also led the Illini in rushing with 69 yards and got help from Reggie Love III and Josh McCray who combined for another 88 yards on the ground. Pat Bryant was Altmyer’s top target and finished with 6 catches for 64 yards and 2 touchdowns.
The defense struggled throughout most of the game and allowed the Rockets to accumulate over 400 total yards which included 185 on the ground. They were also undisciplined and picked up 10 penalties which led to another 100 yards.
Kansas is coming off a 48-17 victory over Missouri State last week. After a back-and-forth 1st half that ended with the Jayhawks leading 17-10, Kansas went on to outscore Missouri St. 31-7 in the 2nd half. They were able to hold the Bears under 75 yards rushing and just 1 of 9 on 3rd downs.
Offensively, Jason Bean spread the ball around to 8 different receivers while Devin Neal used his 13 carries to rush for 94 yards and a score. In total, the Jayhawks picked up 520 yards of total offense and finished over 50% on 3rd downs.
The scare that the Illini received in their opener could be the wake-up call that they needed. Heading into Kansas this week, they will need to cut down on the penalties and stop the run. That will not be an easy task as the Jayhawks scampered for 245 yards on the ground last week, albeit against a much inferior opponent.
Kansas seems like they should be a much larger favorite here and the fact that they are not and that the public is on them with over 65% of the tickets going to Kansas, leads us to believe that fading the Jayhawks here is the right play.
- Illinois is 3-1 ATS in their last 4 games when playing as the underdog.
- Illinois is 8-1 ATS in their last 9 games on the road.
- Kansas is 0-5 ATS in their last 5 games.
- Kansas is 3-9 ATS in their last 12 games when playing as the favorite.
Illinois Illini @ Kansas Jayhawks OVER 55
Both teams proved they can put up points in their openers. Illinois also proved that they are susceptible to allowing a good amount on defense as well.
Kansas, while only allowing 17 points last week to Missouri St. could be viewed as allowing too many. This leads us to believe this one could end up being a bit of a shootout.
- The OVER is 11-4 in the last 15 Kansas games.
- The OVER is 17-6 in the last 23 Kansas games in September.
- The OVER is 5-0 in Kansas’s last 5 games.
- The OVER is 5-3-1 in the last 9 Illinois games.