Subscribe to our newsletter
The best bets and resources to make you more profitable
Week 1 of the college football season blesses us with a classic Big Ten showdown between Illinois and Indiana.
While neither of these teams find themselves close to the elites of college football, both programs are aiming for respectability.
This matchup has Big Ten written all over it, so let’s get into the specifics.
|Date & Time||Friday, September 2nd, 6 p.m. ET|
Despite being the favorite here, Indiana is dealing with a monumental amount of change from last season to this one.
They will have a new: offensive coordinator, defensive coordinator, quarterback, running backs, wide receivers, and starting middle linebacker. So…. yes, that is a lot of change.
The Hoosiers went into the 2021 season with a decent amount of hype around them after a surprisingly successful 2020 season in which they finished top 25.
But, last year did not go as planned as the Hoosiers finished 2-10, and 0-9 in the Big Ten.
So, with last years lack of success in mind, Indiana head coach Tom Allen added five new assistant coaches along with 12 new players specifically from the transfer portal.
Offensively, Indiana had the literal worst offense in the entire Big Ten, averaging less than 18 points per game. They only had four touchdown passes in nine Big Ten games!
So, the change to the new offensive coordinator is not surprising.
The Hoosiers also ranked last in points per game allowed in the Big Ten on the defensive end, creating the need to replace the defensive coordinator as well.
With all the new faces surrounding the team, it is no surprise why they are currently ranked 82nd in the nation.
So, why exactly are they five point favorites here? Well, since you asked, let’s get into the Illinois side of the field.
Illinois hasn’t had a winning season for 10 years straight after last years 5-7 campaign under first year head coach Bret Bielema.
Funny enough, going 5-7 was actually viewed as a somewhat positive first season for Bielema, considering the Fighting Illini’s history of horrible football teams.
Illinois is also dealing with a change at the offensive coordinator position, with Bielema making a change after an abysmal season offensively in 2021.
They hope to be an improved offense from last year, after they failed to score more than 20 points in seven of their last ten games.
It will all depend on the play of the new quarterback of course, with transfer Tommy DeVito coming over from Syracuse.
On the defensive side of the ball, this Illinois squad lacks top end talent but are actually pretty solid across the board. Despite the putrid offense, they only allowed 22 points per game.
In looking to handicap this game, to me these seem like two offenses ripe to fade. Generally, it takes more time for an offense to come together than a defense, because of how much of offensive success is predicated on timing.
So, considering this game features two new offensive coordinators and two new quarterbacks, the under seems pretty juicy.
Thanks to line shopping, I was able to get the under at 48.5 on BetMGM, a full point higher than what the OddsJam Line prices this total to be.