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Illinois Missouri Betting – Tigers Maul Illini In “Arch Rivalry”

Posted by Blake Frazier on 8/19/2010 3:08:51 PM
illinois missouri betting

Online betting players know how big a part rivalries can play in the college game, and even though the “Arch Rivalry” was only started a few years ago, it’s been one-sided as Missouri has dominated Illinois.  That doesn’t look to change when the two kick off their season in St. Louis.

  • What: NCAA football betting
  • When: Saturday, September 4th, 12:30 PM ET
  • Where: Edward Jones Dome, St. Louis, MO
  • Pick: Missouri

What’s On The Line

This is the sixth edition of the “Arch Rivalry”, and the Tigers have won all five meetings with the Fighting Illini in this neutral-site affair (Edward Jones Stadium is roughly between Columbia, MO and Champaign, ILL).  The Illini were awful in 2009, finishing 3-9 in the Big Ten, and coach Ron Zook’s job may be in trouble with another poor season. The Tigers were 8-5 in the Big 12 under Gary Pinkel, then were thumped 35-13 by Navy in the Texas Bowl.

Offensive Matchups: Illinois Missouri Betting

The Juice Williams era is over in Champaign, and they’ll lean on new pivot Nathan Scheelhaase, who is also a dual-threat quarterback.  He’ll have Mikel Leshoure with him in the backfield, and he could be ready to break out as he’s not sharing carries with anyone.  But the Illini are lacking in receivers, and the offensive line suffered a loss when tackle Corey Lewis tore his knee up.  Scheelhaase may depend on his legs more than his arm to get the Illini down the field, but it looks to be as unbalanced as last year.

The Tigers are also unbalanced, but they’re more on the passing side than the Illini.  Blaine Gabbert was up and down last year, and when he was up, the Tigers usually won.  Gabbert has a firm grasp on the offense now and could be headed for a big year, especially as the line is loaded up front.  The top two receivers from last year are gone, but the Tigers are deep there, and they also have tight ends Michael Egnew and Andrew Jones.  Derrick Washington will be counted on for balance, but the Tigers are going to go the aerial route.

Betting Edge:  Missouri

Defensive Matchups: Illinois Missouri Betting

Illinois’ defense was straight up terrible last year, coming in 91st, and they were 100th in pass defense.  Vic Koenning did a great job rebuilding Kansas State’s defense, and he’ll try to do the same for the Illini.  Three of their top five tacklers are back, but they lost linemen Josh Brent (academic issues) up front, leaving Clay Lewis to generate a pass rush pretty much by himself.  Safety Walter Aikens could be suspended for an offseason arrest.  Koenning will have his hands full this season.

The Tigers were 104th against the pass last year, but that’s a bit deceiving because they play in the spread-happy Big 12.  This year, Mizzou returns all four of their secondary starters, but Jarell Jackson’s spot is in trouble due to offseason legal problems.  Aldon Smith is back to be a pass-rush menace, but Sean Witherspoon leaves a big hole at linebacker.  Andrew Gachkar steps into his shoes, but Luke Lambert and Zavier Gooden must step up as well. 

Betting Edge: Missouri

Notable Injuries: Illinois Missouri Betting

Illinois comes into this game with a clean bill of health for the most part, and they can’t afford to have anyone hurt already.

Jones (shoulder) had surgery in the offseason, and he should be ready for this game, but how healthy is that shoulder?

Betting Edge: Illinois

Outlook and Pick: Illinois Missouri Betting

The Tigers should be the NCAA football betting favorites in this contest, given their dominance over the Illini, who are in a state of flux once again.  They have a new quarterback, and a new coordinator for a defense that, no matter how much he works, just isn’t that good this year.  Mizzou could be a dangerous darkhorse in the Big 12 if their pass defense holds up, and we think it’ll be more than good enough to earn another sports betting win over the Illini.

Blake’s Pick: Missouri



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