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How and what to watch for Illinois vs. Rutgers

Is Rutgers... actually a decent team?

Illinois Fighting Illini quarterback Coran Taylor runs the ball against Minnesota Golden Gophers linebacker Mariano Sori-Marin during the first half at Memorial Stadium.  Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports

The 1-2 Rutgers Scarlett Knights welcome the winless Illinois Fighting Illini to New Jersey on Saturday afternoon, looking to stay out of the basement in the Big Ten.

Illinois has looked very bad through three games this season. Quarterback Brandon Peters tested positive for COVID-19 and will be out again this week against Rutgers. In his place, Coran Taylor has gotten the reps under center. He’s had a rough go of it, throwing for three scores and two interceptions during his two weeks as starter. The team is completing under 50 percent of its passes, and has relied heavily on the run. Running back Mike Epstein has performed well, with over 200 yards and two scores. The Illini get more yards on the ground, 163, than through the air, 162, each week. That may have to change this week against a Scarlett Knights defense who allows close to 300 yards through the air each week.

Rutgers looks better this year than they have in recent memory. Quarterback Noah Vedral leads the way with close to 500 yards passing. In his one game against a non-top 10 foe in Michigan State, he threw for 170 yards and a score. The team’s ground game is the best weapon, running for four touchdowns against the Spartans, and each week they have gained more yards than the week before. Illinois rush defense is pretty weak and allow close to 200 yards each week.

Game Time/TV Channel/Streaming

You can watch Illinois vs. Rutgers on Saturday, November 14th at 12:00 p.m. ET on Big Ten Network, or you can stream it via the Fox Sports Go app with a cable or streaming service login.

Point Spread, Totals, Odds, Trends

Point spread: Illinois vs. Rutgers (-6.5)
Point Total: 52
Money line: Illinois +195 vs. Rutgers -250

  • Illinois is 1-4 ATS in its last five games
  • Illinois is 4-2 ATS in its last six games against Rutgers
  • Rutgers is 4-2 ATS in its last six
  • The total has gone over in six of Rutgers’ last nine.

Betting splits

Illinois: (29% of handle, 27% percent of bets)
Rutgers: (71% of handle, 73% percent of bets)

The Best Bet

With Illinois likely having its starting quarterback out, Rutgers should win by at least one score. Even if Peters can play, the Illini haven’t been particularly good with him this season either.

Pick: Rutgers -6.5

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