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How and what to watch for Minnesota vs. Illinois

Both teams will try to bounce back off ugly losses last week

NCAA Football: Minnesota at Maryland Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Two winless teams face off on Saturday afternoon when the Minnesota Golden Gophers head over to Champaign to take on the Illinois Fighting Illini.

Minnesota suffered a back-breaking overtime loss last week to the Maryland Terrapin's, but they should be able to get in the W column for the first time this season. Tanner Morgan hasn’t been what we expected him to be, with just two passing scores and an interception, but he hasn’t been bad either. The Gophers rushing attack has been good, behind Mohamed Ibrahim, who has over five yards per rush and six touchdowns already. The Illinois defense gives up 38 points per game too, though what they have the hardest time with is stopping the pass, so Morgan will need to take it to the next level this week.

Illinois comes into this week without its starting quarterback Brandon Peters, who was diagnosed with COVID-19. We still don’t know who is going to be under center this week either. The Illini have had a hard time getting anything going on offense, only scoring 15 points per game on average. The team might be able to get a high point total this week because Minnesota gives up 47 points per game and struggle through the air and on the ground. Look for Mike Epstein, who has about five yards per carry, to have a big game against a Gopher defense that gives up close to 300 yards on the ground per game.

Game Time/TV Channel/Streaming

You can watch Minnesota vs. Illinois on Saturday, November 7 at 3:30 p.m. ET on Big Ten Network, or you can stream it via the Fox Sports app with a cable or streaming service login.

Point Spread, Totals, Odds, Trends

Point spread: Minnesota (-7) vs Illinois
Point Total: 64
Money line: Minnesota (-245), Illinois (+185)

  • Minn is 1-4-1 ATS in its last six games
  • The total has gone over in all of Minn’s last five games
  • Illinois is 7-3 ATS in its last 10
  • Illinois is 0-5 straight up in its last five

Betting splits

Minnesota: (26% of handle, 84% percent of bets)
Illinois: (74% of handle, 16% percent of bets)

The Best Bet

Looking at the stats you could see how Illinois might have a chance to pull the upset. But the Gophers have so much more talent all across the field and have had a tougher schedule, so the stats are a bit skewed. Add in a backup QB for Illinois and the bet is clear

Pick: Minn -7

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