Purdue vs. Illinois NCAAF Week 11 Betting Preview: Can Illini Rebound From Shocking Loss?

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Isaiah Williams #1 of the Illinois Fighting Illini runs for a touchdown against the Michigan State Spartans. Michael Hickey/Getty Images/AFP.

Illinois was stunned by Michigan State last week and its grasp on the Big Ten West is slipping.

Let’s review the college football odds and analyze this matchup as we look to keep cashing our college football picks!

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Purdue Boilermakers vs. Illinois Fighting Illini

Saturday, November 12, 2022 – 12:00 PM EST at Memorial Stadium (Champaign, IL)

Lack of Scoring

The Boilermakers have lost their last 2 games and have failed to cover in their last 3 contests as they enter this conference matchup against Illinois. In their last performance, their offense was stuck in neutral while their defense was trampled by Iowa’s Kaleb Johnson who had 200 yards rushing including a 75-yard romp into the end zone in Iowa’s 24-3 victory.

Perhaps, the most telling aspect of the loss was Purdue’s inability to launch their routinely prolific passing attack. Senior quarterback, Aidan O’Connell, commands Purdue’s 16th-ranked passing offense, averaging 297 yards per contest, and had 3 consecutive games in which he passed for 320 yards or more leading up to last week’s matchup against one of the stingiest defenses in the nation.

When the dust settled, O’Connell was 20-of-43 and held to just 168 yards with no touchdowns and 2 interceptions. The Boilermakers’ ground game was pedestrian at best, garnering just 87 yards, and their only score came off the foot of Mitchell Fineran when he split the uprights from 34 yards out in the second quarter.

Ready to Rebound

Illinois entered last week with only a loss to Indiana earlier in the season on their record. The key to success for this year’s edition of the Illini is a tough-as-nails defense with a talent for neutralizing the opposition both through the air and on the ground.

Therefore, it was no surprise that the oddsmakers installed Illinois as 16.5 point home chalk against a middling Michigan State team that entered last week’s contest with a 3-5 straight-up record and was coming off of a 29-7 loss to Michigan. To many, it wasn’t a question of whether would Illinois win, but by how much.

About Week 10

The Illini drew first blood when Tommy DeVito hit a streaking Isaiah Williams for a 60-yard bomb that made it appear Illinois was ready to do damage. The two would connect again but not until Michigan State scored 4 consecutive times, putting the game out of reach until Williams caught a 7-yard toss from DeVito early in the fourth quarter.

But that was the last of the scoring from either side and the Spartans claimed a 23-15 victory in hostile territory leaving Illinois with a 4-2 conference mark but still atop the Big Ten West by a game.

Illinois was stopped on 5 fourth-down attempts, was only 7-of-23 on third and fourth-down opportunities, and turned the ball over 3 times in the red zone leading Illinois head coach, Bret Bielema, to remark, "Maybe we need to get bigger, maybe we need to get smaller. We get to the threshold of (scoring) it and weren't able to get in."


Total Trends

  • Under is 4-0 in the Boilermakers’ last 4 games after scoring less than 20 points in their previous game.
  • Under is 7-1 in the Boilermakers’ last 8 games following a straight-up loss.
  • Under is 9-2 in the Boilermakers’ last 11 games following an ATS loss.
  • Under is 4-0-1 in the Fighting Illini’s last 5 home games.
  • Under is 3-0-1 in the Fighting Illini’s last 4 games overall.
  • Under is 5-0-1 in the Fighting Illini’s last 6 games following an ATS loss.

Purdue vs. Illinois: Game Prediction

I suspect Illinois will be loaded for bear on Saturday afternoon, after watching their offense fail repeatedly against a mediocre Michigan State team. And although the Illini’s vaunted defense was not as nasty as usual, they only allowed 182 passing and 112 rushing yards which is still under 300 combined yards. Again, not up to their usual standards but far from disastrous.

Purdue’s only hope is to keep moving the chains through the air via their 16th-ranked passing attack. But the problem they will encounter is that Illinois boasts the No. 2 pass defense in the nation, allowing a miserly 10.4 points per game, the best in all of college football.

The Illinois offense was unable to rise to the occasion when a big moment presented itself last week. And although the offense is far from a juggernaut, the Illini rushing game is potent, ranked 33rd and averaging over 193 yards per game. That should be enough to keep the sticks moving and the Purdue aerial attack off the field.


Final Picks

If we take a look at all of the best sportsbooks, we can see that Illinois is installed as a 6.5-point home favorite at all of the major shops.

I think we’re getting decent value as we avoid a push if Illinois wins by a touchdown, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they won by double digits.

Score Prediction: Illinois 24 - Purdue 13

NCAAF Pick: Illinois -6.5 (-110) at Bovada (visit our Bovada Review)

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Illinois -6.5 (-110)
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NCAAF Pick: Under 44.5 (-108) at Heritage Sports (visit our Heritage Sports Review)

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Under 44.5 (-108)
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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.