Illinois continues to look like the class of the Big Ten West and looks to make another big step towards doing that by winning at home against a lowly Michigan State team.
The Spartans were once a top 10 team about a year ago, but now look anything but that top tier team from a season ago. They currently sit at 3-5, fresh off a 29-7 loss to in-state rival Michigan on the road.
Will they put up more of a fight on the road against another tough opponent? Let's break it down by first checking out the odds:
Michigan State vs. Illinois Odds, Spread and Total
Michigan State vs. Illinois Betting Trends
- Illinois is 6-2 against the spread (ATS) this season
- Illinois is 4-1 ATS at home this season
- Michigan State is 2-4 ATS as an underdog this season
- Illinois has gone UNDER in five of six games as a favorite this season
Michigan State vs. Illinois Prediction and Pick
Illinois continues to outperform expectations but this is still a team that isn't built to blow teams out, especially a Michigan State team that is the healthiest it's been all season. While the offense couldn't make any progress against Michigan's sturdy defense in the 29-7 loss, the defense showed subtle improvement, limiting Michigan to less than six yards per play.
The team closed as 23-point underdogs in that game and this line indicates that there is about a touchdown separation between the Michigan and Illinois. I can't get there. The Illini were able to pull away from Nebraska, but only after the Cornhuskers lost their starting quarterback Casey Thompson to a wrist injury.
After trailing 9-6, Illinois feasted on both backup quarterbacks for Nebraska and pulled away. I think Sparty's a team that might outperform their expectations given their slow start to the year and Illinois remains a team that isn't built to win with margin.
I'll take the points on Saturday.
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Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.