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Illinois Penn State Betting: Penn State Tries To Maintain Division Lead Against Illinois

Posted by Blake Frazier on 10/25/2011 8:19:58 PM
illinois penn state betting

The Penn State Nittany Lions have a subpar offense. Yet, their defense has carried them to the top of the Big Ten Leaders Division. Illinois will try to derail Penn State this Saturday.

Illinois Fighting Illini @ Penn State Nittany Lions - Saturday, October 29

Sports betting line: Penn State -5

Why Illinois Will Win

The college football betting  experts who reside in Big Ten country have been forced to watch a lot of bad offense this year. Penn State’s offense has been very much at the forefront of this inertia, so to speak. The Nittany Lions’ defense has been exceptional this year, but coach Joe Paterno hasn’t been able to squeeze very much offensive production from his team. The Nittany Lions – who played one Football Championship Subdivision team (Indiana State) and two teams from the weak-sister Mid-American Conference (Temple and Eastern Michigan) have been able to average only 23.3 points per game through eight contests, placing them 89th in the Football Bowl Subdivision, which is 120 schools deep. Penn State is basically in the bottom 25 percent (25.2 percent, if you want to be precise) of the FBS in scoring, a damning indictment for a team with a 7-1 record. Penn State’s place atop the Big Ten with a 4-0 league mark is an indication of how poor the league is. Illinois has struggled in a big way the last two weeks, but with the speed of running quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase, the Illini can make just enough plays against the formidable Penn State defense to apply pressure on the Nittany Lions. If Illinois scores 20 points in this game – a modest but not spectacular display of production – PSU’s offense will be hard-pressed to keep up. It’s been a brutal month of October for Illinois, but one wonders if this team will play poorly for three straight weeks.

Why Penn State Will Win

When you do your homework and assess your sports bet on this game, you will come to the conclusion that yes, Illinois can definitely play poorly for three straight weeks. Ron Zook is its coach. Illinois coasted to a 6-0 record in the first half of the season because it enjoyed favorable matchups. The Illini played one road game in that six-game stretch, and it came against Big Ten doormat Indiana. As soon as Illinois played a team with some defensive muscle – Ohio State on Oct. 15 – it flinched, losing 17-7 to the Buckeyes in a game that felt a lot more lopsided. Illinois then spit the bit this past weekend, falling to lowly Purdue and showing the lack of belief that has characterized the second halves of most Zook-coached seasons in Champaign. Illinois put the pieces together in its 2007 run to the Rose Bowl, but in every other season, the Illini have faltered. Penn State ranks fifth in the nation in scoring defense, giving up just 13 points per game. If PSU can hit that target, the Nittany Lions should be able to carve out 16 or 17 points and gain a close win.

Who Will Win

It’s hard to think that Illinois will win this game outright, but the Penn State offense simply isn’t gifted enough to run away with the game, either. The smart play is to predict a Penn State win under the number. The Nittany Lions will win this game by a field goal, meaning Illinois will get the cover.
College Football Betting Pick: Illinois

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