Game Time: 12:00 pm ET, Saturday, October 30, 2021
Venue: The University of Illinois - Memorial Stadium, Champaign, IL
Where to Watch: Big Ten Network
Opening Odds at USA Sportsbooks
DraftKings: Point Spread: Rutgers NL, Illinois NL; Over/Under: NL points
Bet365: Point Spread: Point Spread: Rutgers -1.5, Illinois +1.5; Over/Under: 42.5 points
BetMGM: Point Spread: Point Spread: Rutgers NL, Illinois NL; Over/Under: NL points
Rutgers Scarlet Knights: 3-4 (6th place, Big Ten East)
Illinois Fighting Illini: 3-5 (5th place, Big Ten West)
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Rutgers Scarlet Knights vs Illinois Fighting Illini Preview and Analysis
Rutgers Scarlet Knights: lost on the road on Oct. 16 against the Northwestern Wildcats 21-7.
Illinois Fighting Illini: won on the road on Oct. 23 against the Penn State Nittany Lions in overtime 20-18.
Rutgers Scarlet Knights Analysis
Rutgers is coming into this game with a 3-4 record overall and they are 1-2 in their road games this season where they will be in this game. This will be their 5th conference matchup this year and their chances are already over with a 0-4 record in their conference games this season. Their 4 losses came against the Michigan Wolverines, the Ohio State Buckeyes, the Michigan State Spartans, and Northwestern in their last game. They never had a lead in that game against Northwestern trailing at the end of every quarter and they are now on a 4 game losing streak coming into this game. Noah Vedral did not have a good game in that one as he completed 18/30 passes for 152 yards and 1 touchdown. Kyle Monangai led the team in rushing with 31 yards on 6 carries while Isaih Pacheco led the team in carries with 13 for 15 yards but they really had nothing going for them in their ground game. Bo Melton had a nice day as he led the receivers with 101 yards and 1 touchdown on 8 receptions. Olakunle Fatukasi led the defense in that game with 9 solo tackles and 2 assisted ones while Tyshon Fogg was right behind him with 8 solo tackles and 2 assisted ones. No one on the defense recorded a sack or came away with an interception in that game. They have scored 169 points in their 7 games this season averaging 24.1 PPG and they have allowed their opponents to score 158 points against them allowing 22.6 PPG. Their offense is averaging 335.7 YPG while their defense is allowing 371.9 YPG.
Illinois Fighting Illini Analysis
Illinois is coming into this game with a 3-5 record overall and they are 2-3 in their home games this season where they will be in this game. This will be their 6th conference matchup on their schedule this year and they are already basically out with a 2-3 record in their conference games this season. Their 3 losses came against the Maryland Terrapins, the Purdue Boilermakers, and the Wisconsin Badgers while their 2 wins came against the Nebraska Cornhuskers and against PSU in their last game. They upset a ranked PSU team on the road beating them by 2 points after going to 9 overtimes in that game. Artur Sitkowski had a very bad game in that one as he completed 8/19 passes for 38 yards and 1 interception. Chase Brown had a massive day on the ground as he led the team in rushing with 223 yards and 1 touchdown on 33 carries while Josh McCray also had a big day on the ground with 142 rushing yards on 24 carries. Donny Navarro led the receivers with 12 yards on 2 receptions in what was a very quiet day for the receiving corps. Tony Adams led the defense in that game with 5 solo tackles and 1 assisted one. Devon Witherspoon, Owen Carney Jr., Khalan Tolson, and Kerby Joseph all had 1 sack each in that game but no one on the defense came away with an interception in that one. They have scored 144 points in their 8 games this season averaging 18 PPG and they have allowed their opponents to score 190 points against them allowing 23.4 PPG. Their offense is averaging 323.8 YPG while their defense is allowing 403.3 YPG.
Rutgers vs Illinois Prediction
Rutgers is coming into this game as a slight 1.5 point favorite with the current betting odds according to the bookmakers. They are coming off of their bye week and have had some time to regroup themselves after slipping in their last few games. They will be ready for this game with that extra week to prepare. Illinois is coming off of a massive 2 point win on the road against a ranked Penn State team so this will likely be a let down spot for them. The best bet to place in this game is on Rutgers to cover the spread or to win straight up on the money line as this is a much better spot for them to win than Illinois.
Rutgers Illinois Prediction: Our NCAAF Pick for Saturday, October 30, 2021 (12:00 pm ET start time) is Rutgers 27 Illinois 10.
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NCAAF Betting Trends
Rutgers Scarlet Knights: 74-72 ATS in road games. 90-112 O/U in all games. 37-43 O/U as a favorite. 37-49 O/U in road games. 64-70 O/U against conference opponents.
Illinois Fighting Illini: 23-37 ATS when the line is +3 to -3. 147-186 ATS in all games. 97-118 ATS as an underdog. 40-52 ATS as a home underdog. 74-102 ATS in home games. 108-131 ATS against conference opponents.
Rutgers Scarlet Knights: A. Cruickshank (WR) Ques Sat - Shoulder injury. T. Maddox-Williams (LB) Ques Sat - Undisclosed injury. R. O'Neal (OL) Out indefinitely - Leg injury.
Illinois Fighting Illini: A. Sitkowski (QB) out for season - Arm injury. D. Spann (QB) Ques Sat - Hamstring injury. C. Brown (RB) Ques Sat - Head injury.
Players to Watch
Rutgers Scarlet Knights: Isaiah Pacheco is one player to watch in this contest. He leads his team in rushing yards and in touchdowns scored this season. He is coming off of a very quiet game where he led the team in carries but only came out with 15 yards in a game where they got nothing going on the ground. They have a good chance at winning this game so they will need him to play well here and control the running game soi look for him to get a lot of touches in this game and find the end zone once again.
Illinois Fighting Illini: Chase Brown is one player to watch in this one. He leads his team in rushing yards and in touchdowns scored this season. He is coming off of a massive game where he had over 200 rushing yards and scored a TD in that game. They will need him to keep that up in this game to control the pace so look for him to get a lot of touches and have another big game as they did not do much in the passing game in their last one.
"It's very disappointing. We certainly have to assess where we are and why we're here, and see what we can do to fix it. Some of it is personnel, some of it is execution. We're trying to find an answer." - Greg Schiano after his team’s loss to Northwestern in their last game.
"To see our locker room right now is pretty special. They fight for one another." - Bret Bielema on his team after their upset win over Penn State.
Rutgers Scarlet Knights
WR Aron Cruickshank
WR Bo Melton
WR Jones, Shameen
TE Haskins, Jovani
QB Vedral, Noah
RB Pacheco, Isaih
Illinois Fighting Illini
WR Williams, Isaiah
WR Navarro III, Donny
TE Barker, Daniel
TE Ford, Luke
QB Peters, Brandon
RB Epstein, Mike
Rutgers Scarlet Knights
Passing: N. Vedral (1274)
Rushing: I. Pacheco (342)
Receiving: B. Melton (354)
Touchdowns: I. Pacheco (3)
Sacks: J. Turner (3)
Tackles: O. Fatukasi (42)
Illinois Fighting Illini
Passing: A. Sitkowski (698)
Rushing: C. Brown (4637)
Receiving: I. Williams (305)
Touchdowns: C. Brown (4)
Sacks: O. Carney Jr. (5)
Tackles: T. Adams (32)
Rutgers Scarlet Knights: Greg Schiano (13th season)
Illinois Fighting Illini: Bret Bielema (1st season)
58 degrees F partly cloudy, 81% humidity, 0% chance of rain, up to 14 mph wind speeds NW.