Me and the boys watching Nebraska/Illinois tomorrow and loving it pic.twitter.com/7chCl2qxuh— BUM CHILLUPS AKA SPENCER HALL (@edsbs) August 27, 2021
While the oddsmakers have Nebraska barely squeaking into a bowl this season (over/under 6 wins), and Illinois are likely just happy to be here under new coach Bret Bielema (3.5 wins), it’s still a Big Ten game and you’re going to watch. Here’s all the data you’ll want, and a pick below!
Nebraska: 32 overall, 46 offense, 29 defense
Illinois: 81 overall, 77 offense, 83 defense
RB Markese Stepp - Probable (foot)
TE Thomas Fidone II Out (knee)
WR Marquez Beason Out (hamstring)
DL Jamal Woods Questionable (foot)
DL Roderick Perry II Questionable (undisclosed)
OL J. Slaughter Out for season (ankle)
Against The Spread
Nebraska: 4-4 ATS (2020)
Illinois: 3-5 ATS (2020)
Nebraska: Over 1-7 (2020)
Illinois: 4-4 (2020)
Returning/Overall Talent from 247Sports
Nebraska: 27 overall, 23 offense, 30 defense
Illinois: 63 overall, 60 offense, 63 defense
Current lines at DraftKings Sportsbook
Spread: Nebraska -7
Moneyline: Nebraska -275, Illinois +220
Opening line: Nebraska -9.5
Opening total: 56.5
It’s Adrian Martinez vs. a coach that wants to run the ball, so how do we exactly break 50 here?
Bret Bielema’s run-heavy system doesn’t fit with the personnel from the Lovie Smith Era (94th on overall talent at the OL position). And anything that happens with Nebraska this season wouldn’t surprise us. Their ceiling on talent might be a chance to win the Big Ten West, but their floor has been realized in every season of the Scott Frost Era so far.
And having the NCAA hanging over the program either galvanizes teams or pulls them apart. Let’s see which way things break after 60 minutes of football for Big Red.
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