Maryland Terrapins vs Illinois Fighting Illini Prediction, Odds and Preview - 09/17/2021

by Amedeus Mastrangelo

Game Time: 9:00 pm ET, Friday, September 17, 2021
Venue:  Memorial Stadium Champaign, Champaign, IL
Where to Watch:  Fox Sports 1


Opening Odds at USA Sportsbooks

DraftKings:  Point Spread:  Terrapins -8, Fighting Illini +8; Over/Under:  NL points
Bet365:  Point Spread:  Terrapins -8, Fighting Illini +8; Over/Under:  59.5 points
BetMGM:  Point Spread:  Terrapins -8, Fighting Illini +8; Over/Under:  59.5 points

Season Record

Maryland Terrapins:  2-0 (4th place, Big Ten East)
Illinois Fighting Illini:  1-2 (1st place, Big Ten West)
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Maryland Terrapins vs Illinois Fighting Illini Preview and Analysis

Recent Form
Maryland Terrapins:  won 2
Illinois Fighting Illini:  lost 2

Offensive Analysis

Last season the Maryland Terrapins averaged a 61.6% completion percentage, 262 passing yards, and 1.8 touchdowns per game through the air. They also averaged 145 rushing yards and 1 touchdown per game on the ground. The Illinois Fighting Illini were averaging a 46.9% completion percentage, 152.9 passing yards, and 1.3 touchdowns per game through the air. They also averaged 196.1 rushing yards and 1.1 touchdowns per game on the ground.

Defensive Analysis

Last season the Maryland Terrapins were allowing teams a 56.4% completion percentage, 200 passing yards, and 1.2 touchdowns per game through the air. They also allowed 230 rushing yards and 2.8 touchdowns per game on the ground. The Illinois Fighting Illini were allowing teams a 69.6% completion percentage, 237.1 passing yards, and 2.3 touchdowns per game through the air. They also allowed 230.6 rushing yards and 2.1 touchdowns per game on the ground.


Terrapins vs Fighting Illini Prediction

Maryland are coming into this game with a 2-0 record over all after winning their first 2 games against West Virginia and Howard. They won their last game against Howard by a final score of 62-0. Taulia Tagovailoa played a great game at the quarterback position. He completed 22/27 passes for 274 yards, 3 touchdowns, and no turnovers. Their running game was alright as Tayon Fleet-Davis rushed for 66 yards and 1 touchdown on 8 carries. Dontay Demus had an outstanding game as he led the receivers with 128 receiving yards and 1 touchdown on 6 receptions. Rakim Jarrett also had a good game finding the end zone with 67 receiving yards on 6 catches. Branden Jennings led the defense in that game with 4 solo tackles. Deshawn Holt and Sam Okuayinonu both recorded 1 sack each in that game while Jakorian Bennett came away with the only interception for them. In the 2 games so far their offense has been averaging 248 YPG. 

Illinois are coming into this game as a 7.5 point underdog with a 1-2 record so far this season. After winning their first game of the season against Nebraska, they went on to lose 2 games in a row to UTSA and Virginia. They lost their last game to UVA 42-14. Arthur Sitkowski Played an alright game completing 24/45 passes for 221 yards, 1 touchdown, and 1 interception, not the best performance from him. Their run game did not do much as Chase Brown led the way with 41 rushing yards and 1 touchdown on 7 carries. No one stood out on the receiving end either as Dalevon Campbell led the way with 43 receiving yards on 2 receptions. Devon Witherspoon led the defense with 7 solo tackles. No one recorded a single sack in that game but Kerby Joseph came away with the only interception for the team. Their offense has averaged 358.3 YPG in their 3 games this season.

Illinois played well in their first college football game of the season but they have not looked good since. Maryland is a much better team all around and is undefeated on the season. That unbeaten streak will continue here as they win this game. The spread is not large here so Maryland is worth a bet to cover the spread or even on the moneyline.

Terrapins Fighting Illini Prediction:  Our NCAAF Pick for Friday, September 17, 2021 (9:00 pm ET start time) is Terrapins 42 Fighting Illini 24.
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NCAAF Betting Trends

Maryland Terrapins: 5-9 ATS against conference opponents. 0-2 ATS after playing 2 straight non-conference games.
Illinois Fighting Illini: 11-7 ATS against conference opponents. 4-2 ATS after a loss by 17 or more points.

Key Injuries

Maryland Terrapins:  M. Beason (WR) day-to-day - Hamstring injury. B. Peters (QB) day-to-day - Shoulder injury. T. Leitzsey (DB) day-to-day - Undisclosed injury.
Illinois Fighting Illini:  F. Gotay (LB) Out indefinitely - Upper Body injury.

Players to Watch

Maryland Terrapins: Taulia Tagovailoa is one player to watch in this game. His team is undefeated and he is looking to continue that trend all year. His brother is currently a QB in the NFL so he has a big shadow to eclipse. Watch for him to make a big impact all season as he looks to live up to his name and even eclipse his brother this season.
Illinois Fighting Illini: Arthur Sitkowski is one player to watch on this team. He is the quarterback and must lead the offense here to have a good game. They have been up and down in their 3 games so watch for him to see if he can step up or blow the game for his team once again by failing to score points.

Notable Quotes

“I was pleasantly surprised with the way Colby McDonald has picked up things and he had a great summer camp for us. Last week, he was banged up going to the West Virginia game so we didn’t play him.” - Mike Locksley on McDonald’s performance after the last game.
"Obviously to start the game the way we did defensively, giving up two big scores, we battled ourselves back into it. Obviously we did not hold them defensively. We had a few things go against us but the reactions were good, so, we've got a lot of work to do." - Bret Bielema on the way his defense played against Virginia.

Starting Lineups

Maryland Terrapins
WR Demus Jr., Dontay 
WR Jones, Darryl 
WR Jarrett, Rakim 
TE Okonkwo, Chigoziem 
QB Tagovailoa, Taulia 
RB Fleet-Davis, Tayon 
Illinois Fighting Illini
WR Navarro III, Donny 
WR Hightower, Brian 
WR Williams, Isaiah 
TE Barker, Daniel 
TE Ford, Luke 
QB Sitkowski, Artur 
RB Norwood, Jakari 

Statistical Leaders

Maryland Terrapins
Passing: T. Tagovailoa (606)
Rushing: T. Fleet-Davis (189)
Receiving: D. Demus Jr. (261)
Touchdowns: D. Demus Jr. (2)
Sacks: T. Still (1)
Tackles: N. Cross (6)
Illinois Fighting Illini
Passing: A. Sitkowski (611)
Rushing: M. Epstein (107)
Receiving: I. Williams (183)
Touchdowns: D. Spann (2)
Sacks: K. Randolph Jr. (2)
Tackles: D. Witherspoon (18)
Maryland Terrapins: Mike Locksley (4th season)
Illinois Fighting Illini: Bret Bielema (1st season)

Weather Forecast

72 degrees F mostly sunny, 68% humidity, 0% chance of rain, up to 9 mph wind speeds S.

Amedeus Mastrangelo

About the Author:

Amedeus Mastrangelo has been heavily wagering on all sports for years and plays just about everything, including sides, totals, favorites, underdogs, against the spread, alternative spreads, first half, second half, player props, and futures. The bottom line is, if Mastrangelo can see an edge in any way shape or form, then he's going to take advantage.

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