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Illinois vs. Penn State College Football Betting Odds

Written by:
Don Shapiro
Published on:
Sep/22/2008
Penn State

Illinois vs. Penn State was expected to get some decent wagering. The early line was around Penn State -13 ½ but probably could be -20.

Penn State beat Temple by 42 points this past weekend at home. Illinois beat Penn State at home last year by 7 points. Penn State has pretty much owned this team over the years however.

Some hope for Illinois: The Fighting Illini are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 road games vs. a team with a winning home record. The Nittany Lions are 1-4 ATS vs. a team with a winning record. They are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 conference games. Illinois has covered 3 of the last 4 games played at Penn State dating back to 1998.

The Fighting Illini are 3-12 ATS in their last 15 games on grass. The closest a game between these two teams has come at Penn State was Illinois losing by 11 points. In that game, the Fighting Illini were listed as +15 ½.


As Illinois gets some extra time to prepare for its Sept. 27 Big Ten opener at Penn State, judging Ron Zook's squad at this juncture requires some perspective, Yahoo Sports points out.

On one hand, Illinois ranks No. 22 in the current Associated Press poll. It's only the second time in the last 17 seasons that the Illini head into conference play in the top 25. You'd think that would be an excuse to be happy in Champaign.

But because Illinois has struggled for extended stretches during each of its non-conference games-including its weak finish in the 20-17 home win over Louisiana-Lafayette-there's a sense that something is amiss. Zook admitted his coaches remained in a funk a day after the Lafayette game, and that they were searching for some answers.

Despite the presence of four terrific returning defensive linemen, everyone should have anticipated some defensive issues since the Illini lost five experienced seniors from the Rose Bowl team and replaced them with five guys who entered the season with a grand total of two career starts between them.

Through three games, Illinois' offense ranks second in the Big Ten in total offense (468.7 yards per game) and third in scoring (36.3 points per game). However, the Illini rank 10th in rushing defense (163.0 yards per game) and 11th in pass-efficiency defense (124.75 rating).

Illinois at Penn State, Sept. 27-This will be the game of the week as the Big Ten opens league play. Nobody has come close to stopping Penn State's "Spread HD" offense-which ranks fourth nationally in scoring (55.3 ppg) and eighth in total offense (536.0 ypg).

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