Penn State vs. Illinois Prediction, Odds, Trends and Key Players for College Football Week 3

Penn State is 2-0 after beating Delaware 63-7 last week. Penn State and Illinois last played in 2021 and Penn State won 20-18 in nine overtimes.

Penn State running back Kaytron Allen (13)
Penn State running back Kaytron Allen (13) / Dan Rainville / USA TODAY NETWORK

So far in 2023, the No. 7 Penn State Nittany Lions have done nothing but take care of business. James Franklin’s team was favored heavily last week and they trounced Delaware 63-7 on their way to 2-0.

That was a nice reprieve one week before sinking their teeth into Big 10 play with a matchup against the 1-1 Illinois Fighting Illini. 

Bret Bielema couldn’t have been happy with a 34-23 loss to Kansas on Friday, and by the looks of it, Illinois could use that extra day to prepare for Drew Allar and Penn State. 

We’re getting into Big 10 play and you can bet this conference matchup with this great promo from the DraftKings Sportsbook. Just click the link below to sign up, then deposit $5 and bet on this PSU-Illinois matchup to receive $200 in bonus bets, win or lose. 

Now, let’s take a look at the odds for Penn State and Illinois in Champaign. 

Penn State vs. Illinois Odds, Spread and Total

Illinois vs. Penn State Betting Trends

  • Illinois is 0-2 ATS
  • The OVER is 1-0-1 in Illinois games this year
  • Penn State is 2-0 ATS
  • The OVER is 2-0 in Penn State games this year
  • Penn State is 9-1 ATS in last 10 games going back to last season

Penn State vs. Illinois How to Watch

  • Date: Saturday, Sept. 16
  • Time: 12:00 PM EST
  • Venue: University of Illinois Memorial Stadium
  • How to Watch (TV): FOX
  • Penn State Record: 2-0
  • Illinois Record: 1-1

Penn State vs. Illinois Key Players

Penn State

Kaytron Allen, RB: Penn State may have the best running back tandem in the country, and if not they’re No. 2 to Michigan. Nick Singleton and Kaytron Allen are both true sophomores and are both dominant out of the backfield, but Allen was the better back last week against lesser competition. Allen ran for 103 yards and a touchdown on 19 carries and has been the much more efficient runner after getting 11 more carries than Singleton in 2022 and finishing with 194 fewer yards. 


Luke Altmeyer, QB: There wasn’t a lot positive about their loss last week. There never is any time you lose to Kansas, but despite his two interceptions, Altmeyer was their most successful offensive player. He threw for 202 yards and a TD, and was the team’s leading rushing, taking off 13 times for 70 yards and two touchdowns. 

Penn State vs. Illinois Prediction and Pick

Penn State has covered in each of its first two matchups.

In Week 1 the Nittany Lions did it by running up the score a bit on West Virginia at the end of the game and then last week they just never stopped scoring. That’s the thing about this team though, they’re never going to stop scoring because even with a big lead they’ll just be handing the ball off to two elite running backs who are fresh late in the fourth quarter because they split carries all game.

They’ll be a cover machine and have been since last season. In their last 10 games the Nittany Lions are 9-1 against the spread. 

Nick Singleton wasn’t as great last week, only running for 47 yards on 12 carries, but he did have three touchdowns, so when a quarter of your runs are ending in the end zone it’s hard to rack up big yardage totals. Right now, Illinois is allowing 224 rushing yards per game after allowing 262 rush yards to Kansas. 

The Illini defense that was so dominant with Devon Witherspoon last season is not the same in 2023. They are 101st in yards allowed per play at 6.2 after finishing second in that category last year at 4.4. Penn State is gaining 7.2 yards per play which is 12th and we haven’t even mentioned its superstar sophomore quarterback Drew Allar. 

Allar has been borderline flawless through two games, completing 78.2% of his passes for 9.6 yards per attempt with four touchdowns, no picks, and he’s only taken one sack. Penn State is a cover machine, so let’s back the Nittany Lions on the road this week. 

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Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change