Michigan State vs. Illinois NCAAF Week 10 Betting: Illini Gunning for Big Ten Title

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Running back Reggie Love III #23 of the Illinois Fighting Illini attempts to avoid the tackle from defensive back Myles Farmer #8 of the Nebraska Cornhuskers. Steven Branscombe/Getty Images/AFP.

Illinois is all alone at the top of the Big Ten West and the rest of their schedule looks winnable except for a showdown with Michigan in their penultimate regular season contest.

Let’s check out the college football odds and break down this matchup as we look to continue to cash our college football picks!

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Michigan State Spartans vs. Illinois Fighting Illini

Saturday, November 5, 2022 – 03:30 PM EDT at Memorial Stadium

Spartans Coming Off Tough Loss

Wins have not come easy to the Spartans this season, but their 34-28 overtime victory over Wisconsin on October 15th as seven-point home underdogs indicated a change might be in the wind. Michigan State had two weeks to relish their victory and lick their wounds during their bye week in preparation for their intrastate rival from Ann Arbor.

But the optimism was short-lived as Michigan made short work of the Spartans in a 29-7 victory and sent Michigan State to their fifth defeat of the season. Making matters even worse, the Spartans narrowly failed to cover as 21-point road dogs.

Payton Thorne passed for 215 yards with one touchdown and one interception but the Spartans' ground attack resembled more of a mild affront, managing just 37 yards on 23 carries. Sophomore wideout, Keon Coleman, had a stellar day with five receptions for 155 yards and a touchdown.

Illini Keeps on Cashing

Illinois checks into this conference showdown with a 7-1 record but what’s even better for their backers is their 6-2 ATS mark. And last week was more of the same as Illinois defeated Nebraska, 26-9, on the road and easily covered as 7 ½ point favorites.

It was a solid performance for the Illini considering they were coming off what could be considered their most impressive win of the season, a 26-14 win over a tough Minnesota team, and did so as 4 ½ point home dogs.

Tommy DeVito was a surgical 20-of-22 for 179 yards and two touchdowns while Chase Brown continued his assault on opposition run defenses with 149 of Illinois’ 188 rushing yards and one touchdown in the 23-point win over the Cornhuskers.

"Our guys are locked into the moment," second-year Illinois head coach Bret Bielema said. "When you get better and better, everyone wants to talk about where you're going to end up. What we need to concentrate on is the journey, and to get to where we are today has been probably one of the most enjoyable journeys I've ever been on in my life."

Team Trends

  • Fighting Illini are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 games in November.
  • Fighting Illini are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games overall.
  • Fighting Illini are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games after allowing less than 100 yards rushing in their previous game.
  • Fighting Illini are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 home games.
  • Spartans are 0-5 ATS vs. a team with a winning record.
  • Spartans are 0-5 ATS in their last 5 road games.
  • Spartans are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 road games vs. a team with a winning home record.

Total Trends

  • Under is 3-0-1 in the Fighting Illini’s last 4 home games.
  • Under is 5-1-1 in the Fighting Illini’s last 7 games overall.
  • Under is 4-1 in the Fighting Illini’s last 5 games following an ATS win.
  • Under is 5-1 in the Spartans' last 6 road games vs. a team with a winning home record.
  • Under is 4-0 in the Spartans' last 4 games after allowing less than 170 yards passing in their previous game.
  • Under is 5-1 in the Spartans' last 6 road games vs. a team with a winning home record.

Michigan State vs. Illinois: Pick and Prediction

Unless Illinois completely collapses, this is their game for the taking. I made this line Illinois -17 ½ and was pleasantly surprised when I saw one of the top-rated sportsbooks, Heritage Sports, dealing the Illini at -15 ½ which is always welcome news when you’re concerned about having to lay what could be a critical hook north of 17, not an uncommon margin of victory in a matchup like this.

We should also note that Illinois defeated Michigan State the last two times these teams as 9 ½ and 15 ½ point underdogs. But more to the point, how is Michigan State supposed to score points on the No. 1 defense in the nation?

The Illini are ranked 2nd in passing yards allowed (148.9 YPG) and rushing yards allowed (79 YPG) while ranked 1st in total yards allowed (227.9) and points allowed (8.9 PPG). And it’s not like this is the proverbial irresistible force versus the immovable object.

Although Illinois could certainly qualify as the latter, Michigan State is no offensive juggernaut ranked 69th in passing (239.4 YPG), 118th in rushing (97.8 YPG), and 95th in points scored averaging 24.5 points per game. Although it is unusual to back a double-digit favorite and bet under a low total, that’s precisely what we are doing here. Bet the Illini and go low in this one.

Score Prediction: Illinois 31 - Michigan State 6

NCAAF Pick: Illinois -15 ½ (-108) at Heritage Sports (visit our Heritage Sports Review)

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Illinois -15 ½ (-108)
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NCAAF Pick: Under 41 ½ (-110) at Bovada (visit our Bovada Review)

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Under 41 ½ (-110)
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*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.