Minnesota Gophers vs. Illinois Fighting Illini Odds & Pick ATS
Minnesota and Illinois both shoot for their first victories of this season when they meet for a Big Ten West bout Saturday afternoon in Champaign. The Gophers are trying to rediscover a little of that "row the boat" mojo that carried them so far last season, while the Illini are just trying to field a full, healthy team. Minnesota's favored by a touchdown on the road for this one. How are we playing this game with our free college football pick?
College Football Betting Odds
College football betting odds opened the Gophers at around -7.5 over the Illini, with an over/under of 62. Early betting action then knocked the hook off that spread.
Gophers Betting Preview
Coming off its best season in almost 20 years, Minnesota is off to an 0-2 start this season, after losing at Maryland in overtime last Friday night 45-44. The Gophers, favored by 17 points, fell down 14-0 early, then used a 28-7 run to lead 28-21 into halftime. Minnesota then scored the first 10 points of the second half to lead 38-21 through three quarters, only to allow Maryland to rally and force OT. The Gophers then gave up a Terps touchdown in the top of the overtime inning, scored themselves on their possession but missed the extra point to lose in excruciating fashion. On the night, Minnesota produced 451 yards of total offense but gave up 675 yards of Maryland offense, 281 on the ground, and 394 through the air. The Gophers only returned four starters on defense for this season, so they're looking a little iffy on that side of the ball right now. Two weeks ago, the Gophers opened their season with a 49-24 loss at home to Michigan, whiffing ATS as three-point dogs.
Illini Betting Preview
Illinois, meanwhile, coming off its first bowl season in five years, is also 0-2, after losing to Purdue last week 31-24. The Illini, playing severely shorthanded, fell down 14-0 early but pulled to within 17-10 at the half. Illinois then gave up the first 14 points out of the locker to go down 31-10 but rallied to within one score with just under seven minutes to go. The Illini then drove last-gasp to the Boilermakers' 15-yard line in the final moments but came up three yards short of a first down on a fourth-down, and that was it.
However, Illinois' late rally gave it a back-door cover as a 9.5-point dog.
On the day, Illinois actually out-gained Purdue 472-456 and out-rushed the Boilers 177-85. But the Illini lost the turnover battle 4-2, which resulted in a -17 points differential. Illinois fourth-string quarterback Coran Taylor performed admirably last week, nearly leading the Illini back from 21 points down, but he also committed three costly turnovers, as young quarterbacks are apt to do. As of this writing, the Illini's quarterback situation for Saturday remained uncertain.
Two weeks ago, Illinois opened this season with a 45-7 loss at Wisconsin, missing ATS as a 20-point dog. And the only touchdown the Illini scored that night came from the defense.
- Get more details: Minnesota at Illinois Match-up Stats
Gophers-Illini Recent History
Minnesota is 4-1 SU, 3-2 ATS over the last five meetings with Illinois. Last year the Gophers ran the ball for 332 yards, won 40-17, and covered as 14-point favorites.
Also, that game played under a total of 58 by one point.
College Football Betting Trends
- Minnesota is 15-6 SU, 12-8-1 ATS, with Tanner Morgan starting at QB.
- Minnesota is 12-17 SU, 13-15-1 ATS in Big Ten play under Coach Fleck.
- Illinois is 8-30 SU, 18-20 ATS in Big Ten play under Coach Smith.
- Illinois is 5-0 ATS its last five times out as a home dog.
Minnesota's loss to Michigan two weeks ago played over a total of 53 in the third quarter, while last week's loss to Maryland played over a total of 60.5 early in the fourth. Illinois' loss to Wisconsin two weeks ago played over a total of 51.5 by a half-point, while last week's loss to Purdue played under a total of 55.5 by a half-point. Overs are 3-2 over the last five meetings in this series, which have trended high-scoring.
Minnesota at Illinois Prediction ATS 11/7/20
Minnesota is the better team here, and while the Gophers might be struggling on defense, Illinois isn't exactly stuffing people, either. Also, the Illini will again be without their starting quarterback. Minnesota beat Illinois by 23 points last season, and while that seems like a bit much for this game, eight would be enough. We're giving the points here with the Gophers.