Game Time: 12:00 pm ET, Saturday, October 9, 2021
Venue: The University of Illinois - Memorial Stadium, Champaign, IL
Where to Watch: Fox
Opening Odds at USA Sportsbooks
DraftKings: Point Spread: Wisconsin -8.5, Illinois +8.5; Over/Under: 42 points
Bet365: Point Spread: Wisconsin -8.5, Illinois +8.5; Over/Under: 42 points
BetMGM: Point Spread: Wisconsin -8.5, Illinois +8.5; Over/Under: 42.5 points
Wisconsin Badgers: 1-3 (6th place, Big Ten West)
Illinois Fighting Illini: 2-4 (5th place, Big Ten West)
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Wisconsin Badgers vs Illinois Fighting Illini Preview and Analysis
Wisconsin Badgers: lost at home on Oct. 2 against the Michigan Wolverines 38-17.
Illinois Fighting Illini: won at home on Oct. 2 against the Charlotte 49ers 24-14.
Wisconsin Badgers Analysis
Wisconsin is coming into this game with a 1-3 record overall and they will be playing their first true road game of the year in this game. This will be their 3rd conference matchup of the season and they have already fallen behind as they have a 2-0 record in their conference games this season. Their 1 win came against the Eastern Michigan Eagles while their 3 losses came against the Penn State Nittany Lions, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, and against Michigan in their last game. Graham Mertz played alright in that game as he completed 8/15 passes for 115 yards and 1 touchdown. Chase Wolf also got some work at the quarterback position as he completed 3/8 passes for 52 yards, 1 touchdown and 1 interception. They were not able to get anything going on the ground in that one as Braelon Allen led the team in rushing with 19 yards on 5 carries. Chimere Dike led the team in receiving yards with 54 and 1 touchdown on 2 receptions in what was a very quiet day for the receiving corps and the entire Wisconsin offense in general. Jack Sanborn led the defense with 6 solo tackles and 7 assisted ones while Leo Chenal was right behind him with 6 solo tackles and 6 assisted ones. No one on the defense was able to get to the quarterback for a sack in that game while Alexander Smith came away with the only interception for his team. They have scored 74 points in their first 4 games and they have allowed their opponents to score 102 points against them. Their offense is averaging 350.3 YPG while their defense is allowing 249 YPG.
Illinois Fighting Illini Analysis
Illinois is coming into this college football game with a 2-4 record overall and they are 2-2 in their home games this season where they will be in this game. This will be their 4th conference matchup on their schedule and they are already a bit behind with a 1-2 record in their conference games this season. Their 4 losses came against the UTSA Roadrunners, the Virginia Cavaliers, the Maryland Terrapins, and the Purdue Boilermakers while their 2 wins came against the Nebraska Cornhuskers and Charlotte in their last game. They had gone on a 4 game losing streak after winning their season opener against the Huskers but they snapped it with a win against Charlotte in that last game. Quarterback Brandon Peters did not play well at the quarterback position in that one as he completed 10/19 passes for 78 yards and 1 touchdown. Chase Brown had a massive day on the ground though as he led the team in rushing with 257 yards and 2 touchdowns on 26 carries while Josh McCray did well for himself as well with 64 rushing yards on 16 carries. Isaiah Williams led the wide receivers with 24 yards on 3 receptions in what was a very quiet day for the receiving corps. Tony Adams and Khalan Tolson both led the defense with 4 solo tackles and 1 assisted one each. Owen Carney Jr. led the defense in sacks with 2 while Seth Coleman also recorded 1 in that game. It was Keith Randolph who came away with the only interception for the defense there. They have scored 124 points in their first 6 games and they have allowed their opponents to score 148 points against them. Their offense is averaging 350.3 YPG while their defense is allowing 418 YPG.
Wisconsin vs Illinois Prediction
Wisconsin is coming into this game as an 8.5 point favorite with the current betting odds. Illinois has not looked like a good team this year but they do play much better at home than they do on the road. They have won their 2 games this year both at home and the 2 games they lost were both really close games as it was decided by less than a touchdown in both cases. Wisconsin came into each of their last 2 games as the favorite and they lost both of those games by more than 20 points, they were at home for 1 and on a neutral site for the other. Now they are on the road and a much bigger favorite here, albeit against a much weaker team than their last 2 opponents. Still, Illinois has been good this year at home and with a spread that big and with the way Wisconsin has been playing, the best bet to make in this game is on Illinois to cover the spread here at home.
Wisconsin Illinois Prediction: Our NCAAF Pick for Saturday, October 9, 2021 (12:00 pm ET start time) is Wisconsin 27 Illinois 23.
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NCAAF Betting Trends
Wisconsin Badgers: 189-166 ATS in all games. 135-128 ATS as a favorite. 74-66 ATS in road games. 126-112 ATS against conference opponents.
Illinois Fighting Illini: 146-185 ATS in all games. 96-117 ATS as an underdog. 74-101 ATS in home games. 107-130 ATS against conference opponents.
Wisconsin Badgers: F. Hicks (CB) day-to-day - Undisclosed injury. J. Ferguson (TE) day-to-day - Chest injury. J. Turner (LB) day-to-day - Undisclosed injury.
Illinois Fighting Illini: S. Coleman (LB) day-to-day - Leg injury. M. Beason (WR) Out indefinitely - Hamstring injury. T. Leitzsey (DB) day-to-day - Undisclosed injury.
Players to Watch
Wisconsin Badgers: Chez Mellusi is one player to watch here. He leads the team in rushing yards and in touchdowns scored this season. He was quiet in their last game but he is one of their playmakers and he will need to step up here and help his team get in the end zone here so they can snap their losing streak. Look for him to get a lot of touches in this game.
Illinois Fighting Illini: Chase Brown is one player to watch in this game. 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 250 rushing yards himself. He will be looking to carry over that momentum as this offense leaned on him last week so look for them to do the same in this game.
"You can't get numb to this, this pain on the inside that we have. We've got to hold on to that, the bad taste in our mouths. We can't get used to losing like this." - Wisconsin safety Collin Wilder after losing to Michigan.
"The one thing I've learned about our team our team is [that] they care. They're motivated to win and they're very coachable. I think I've learned over the past couple weeks that they want this program to have sustained success even after they leave." - Bret Bielema on what he has learned about this team this season in the first few games.
WR Pryor, Kendric
WR Davis III, Danny
TE Ferguson, Jake
QB Mertz, Graham
RB Mellusi, Chez
FB Chenal, John
Illinois Fighting Illini
WR Navarro III, Donny
WR Williams, Isaiah
TE Barker, Daniel
TE Ford, Luke
QB Peters, Brandon
RB Epstein, Mike
Passing: G. Mertz (681)
Rushing: C. Mellusi (332)
Receiving: D. Davis III (193)
Touchdowns: C. Mellusi (2)
Sacks: N. Herbig (3.5)
Tackles: J. Sanborn (16)
Illinois Fighting Illini
Passing: A. Sitkowski (611)
Rushing: C. Brown (379)
Receiving: I. Williams (275)
Touchdowns: C. Brown (3)
Sacks: O. Carney Jr. (4)
Tackles: D. Witherspoon (24)
Wisconsin Badgers: Paul Chryst (7th season)
Illinois Fighting Illini: Bret Bielema (1st season)
82 degrees F partly cloudy, 67% humidity, 0% chance of rain, up to 14 mph wind speeds S.